iShed and Sound and Music, were delighted to award artist Jen Southern this valuable opportunity to develop a new project exploring sonic art, pervasive technologies and touch. The residency is part of Embedded, Sound and Music's new artist development programme, supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Polyrhythmia is an orchestra of kinetic machines that play live rhythms of the city. 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.

This project is inspired by the work of French sociologist and philosopher Henri Lefebvre; and the manner in which reindeer and whales use sound to communicate. It also builds on Jen’s previous collaborative mapping works Comob and Running Stitch.
Between September 2011 and January 2012, Jen is spending supported time at Pervasive Media Studio developing her ideas and testing new technologies.

Read Jen's Project Journal below, to learn more about her progress, ideas and inspirations.

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.


Project blog