In a brand new exhibition commission, Jen Southern’s Polyrhythmia premiered this May as part of the Differential Mobilities conference in Montreal, Canada. We're also pleased the piece is featuring in an exhibition a bit closer to home, opening this week at Lancaster's Peter Scott Gallery.
Polyrhythmia is an orchestra of kinetic machines that play live rhythms of the city, each tapping surfaces in response to live GPS data.
Participants are invited to take a ‘Space Metronome’ (a sound piece reflecting the city), on a journey. As they move, their ‘Space Metronomes’ are tracked using GPS, and they hear the rhythm of the speed they are travelling reflected in the soundscape. They slow to appreciate calm noises, and speed up to make the sounds 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 from their ‘Space Metronome’ to the orchestra, to one of a series 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.
Video: Documentation of Polyrhythmia in Montreal by Jen Southern.
The project was initially developed during Jen’s 2011/2 Embedded Artists Residency at Pervasive Media Studio. Supported by Watershed and Sound and Music, the residency offered Jen the valuable opportunity to develop a new project exploring sonic art, pervasive technologies and touch. We’re thrilled that Jen has continued to develop the project and look forward to seeing it in her PhD exhibition this week, at the Peter Scott Gallery in Lancaster on the 5th, 6th and 7th June 2013.