“All our Philosophers are Fools, and their Transactions a parcel of empty Stuff, to the Experiments of the Royal Societies in this Country. Here I came to a Learned Tract of Winds... There you have an Account how to make Glasses of Hogs Eyes, that can see the Wind; and they give strange Accounts both of its regular and irregular Motions, its Compositions and Quantities; from whence, by a sort of Algebra, they can cast up its Duration, Violence, and Extent.”
The Consolidator; or, Memoirs of Sundry Transactions from the World in the Moon (1705). Daniel DeFoe (1660? - 1731).
‘...the technical structure of the archiving archive also determines the structure of the
archivable content even in its very coming into existence and in its relationship to the
future. The archivization produces as much as it records the event.’
Archive Fever (1995), p.17, Jacques Derrida (1930 – 2004).
Speculative writing from the corpus of antiquity projects the desire to know the unknowable and experience sensations beyond those currently furnished by the human sensorium. Drawing inspiration from both the DeFoe and Derrida texts, The Consolidator invited participants to engage with a two day procedural workshop and journey through layers of received meaning inherent in the sub-strata of technology whose time has already dissipated. The workshop produced inscription devices, inscriptions and data sonifications that are presented in the Betagrams exhibition.
Ben Freeth is an artist and inventor focusing on the potential of micro controllers for creative expression. Currently he is studying a PhD in Digital Media at Newcastle University, researching into the development of speculative digital musical instruments for performance and wearable computing technologies exploring collective experience and aesthetics. His research practice has been developed through work with Digital Interaction, Computing Science at Newcastle University building a hybridised network performance system inspired by Walter Benjamin's fragmented text "Das Passagenwerk". This system pushes the role of the audience in the work liberating the potential for co-authorship and performance between audience and musician. Other work for Digital Interaction has included a collaboration with Microsoft Research Cambridge working with musicians from a non technical background to develop Digital Musical Instruments (DMI's). He regularly lectures on micro controller formats for the Creative Arts Practice Masters Degree, Newcastle University and delivers procedural workshops for example the recent Sun Tongs series investigating the potential for incorporating solar data and energy into the design of DMI's. Previous work has been exhibited in Bergen, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, New York and Budapest. He also runs the regular #UNPITCH_ nights featuring experimental performance and contemporary music at Culture Lab, Newcastle University.
Thanks to the participation and contributions from:
Thanks you also to Newcastle University Electron Microscopy Research Services and especially Tracey Davey (Experimental Scientific Officer)