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Jen Southern - Embedded Artists Residency

Video Details

Artist and PhD student Jen Southern was commissioned to develop Polyrhythmia, a new work that uses technology, sound, and movement to link people over long distances. In this video, Jen talks about her inspiration for the project, and how it has developed during the course of the residency.

Sep 2011 - Jan 2012

Duration: 3mins 19secs

Artist and PhD student Jen Southern developed Polyrhythmia, a new work that uses technology to enable people in different locations to become part of a combined orchestra; utilising sound and movement to literally allow people to 'walk to the beat of their own drum.'

In Polyrhythmia, an orchestra of kinetic machines will play live rhythms of the city, as participants are invited to take a ‘Space Metronome’ on a journey. As they move, they hear the rhythm of the speed they are travelling. They slow to appreciate the calm ticking, and speed up to make the metronome race. Their speed of movement through the city becomes something to play with, hopping on and off buses or bicycles to hear the different rhythms of their journeys. As they travel, their movements are transmitted to the orchestra, to one of a set of kinetic machines that taps out their rhythm. In concert with other journeys, each walker becomes part of a polyrhythm of machines, tapping at different speeds and with different notes, a combined orchestra of movement.

Inspired by the work of French sociologist and philosopher Henri Lefebvre; and the manner in which reindeer and whales use sound to communicate, the project also builds on Jen’s previous collaborative mapping works Comob and Running Stitch.

In this video, Jen talks about her inspiration for the project, and how it has developed during the course of the residency.

Jen Southern was commissioned by iShed and Sound & Music to develop the project, which explores sonic art, pervasive technologies and touch. Launched as part of Embedded, Sound and Music's new artist development programme, this commission is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Embedded is a Sound and Music initiative delivered in partnership with iShed, a part of Watershed, supported by Pervasive Media Studio and funded by the
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Related Links:
Embedded Artists Residency