Karen Gwyer ~> ASSEMBLY: Christian Marclay

Season 10, Episode 3,  Jan 30, 2020, 12:21 PM

Somerset House Studios artist Christian Marclay curated the second series of ASSEMBLY inviting artists to collaborate in bringing the sounds and acoustics of the street outside inside.

For ASSEMBLY, Karen Gwyer approached the street noises as drums. Building over the course of the performance, Karen will use and process the ambient sounds to create a multilayer, polyrhythmic piece created from the more punchy and identifiable sounds as well as distorting the general hum. The mood and intensity will shift as the performance progresses. On top of the rhythmic street sounds, layers of synths will build to create a moving yet sobering composition that draws on Karen’s own emotions around her 12 years as a Londoner, both the pain and relief of leaving, and the conflict of looking at it now from afar.

Pedestrians, traffic, roadworks, protest; the corner of Somerset House where Waterloo Bridge meets Embankment is a hive of often unpredictable activity and noise. Acknowledging and working with this to define a compositional framework, Marclay invited a series of guests to collaborate in bringing the outdoors inside for an evolving series of electro-acoustic performances.

Karen Gwyer was born in the southern US and raised in the north. Now based in Berlin after more than a decade in London, she shifts between pumping, thickly melodic, just left-of-techno dancefloor vibes and diversionary acidic psychedelia in her expansive, largely analogue live electronic performances. To date, she has released a handful of acclaimed recordings on Don’t Be Afraid, Nous Disques, Opal Tapes and Kaleidoscope, among others. She has produced remixes for labels such as InFiné, Software, and Public Information, and has created a number of commissioned pieces for Berlin’s Pop-Kultur festival and Open Music Archive in London.

Christian Marclay’s ambitious and accomplished practice explores the juxtaposition between sound, photography, video and sculpture. His installations display provocative musical and visual landscapes and have been included in exhibitions around the world including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Venice Biennale, Centre Pompidou Paris and Kunsthaus Zurich. More recently, he exhibited The Clock at the Tate Modern (debuted at White Cube in 2010) – an artwork created from thousands of edited fragments, from a vast range of films to create a 24-hour, single-channel video.

Podcast produced by Reduced Listening for Somerset House Studios. ASSEMBLY Production by Music Hackspace and sound system by Call & Response, with sound and interaction programming from Black Shuck and Preverbal Studio. Lighting design by KitMapper.

ASSEMBLY is supported by PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund, The Adonyeva Foundation and the John. S Cohen Foundation.