Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-03-18 - 10:03 a.m.

I stopped at the Oxford Services on the way back to Leantown after Beyond Belief. There had been a POLEMICS meeting in Slough which fitted in well with the event timetable. I was able to get to St Mary’s before the exhibition closed, pick up a programme and test the installed sound system – also to meet one of the artists and get to know the artworks themselves.

Eventually I decided to use the Niblock drone, One Point Two and the Gilbert-Robin version of Fifths. The sound system has several speakers positioned high up around the space and so with a drone piece it is very much as if the building itself is being played. I walked around the space playing Dhorn – very much a first. The version of One Point Two has Gilbert playing a second line – I put a third line on with the flute echoing the first. I brought the audience in after the key change with a modal chant – that Alwyn had chosen independently. As far as the version of Fifths is concerned, the Gilbert-Robin dialogue is pretty strong and so I just put in a few Dhorn comments.

The artworks included two films, one sequence of stills, one text piece and one sculpture. There was one projection onto the wall of the chancel and two alcoves had been found to house two other screens. The alcove pieces were about lights – one of the light pieces had breathing on the track. The projected piece was about groups of the three heads – and included a sculpture which has been filmed and intercut with other triple headed images. The sculpture was about Annunciation iconography - more the metaphysics than the physical event.

This was of course further in the direction of symbolic exploration than we have ever gone before in this series of events – and there was a strong Cageian aesthetic in just letting the integration happenI talked about Bill Viola to a couple of the artists and about the impact that the emergence of Viola (and his mates) and synthesis had on the Cage collaborator David Tudor, the pianist.

In the lights vid there is a Warhol moment when the street light switches off. I told the artist that it reminded me of the Matthew Collings story about the Empire State Building film and the all night party – and that when I first saw that moment in her piece I laughed out loud.

I talked to Alwyn about Richard Wollheim who had taught her at one point. She said he had been quite into parapsychology – much more salient than his interest in Minimalism episode. She said he had been trying out the ideas in Art and Its Objects when she was in his orbit. They once went on a philosophical holiday to Italy to dwell on Palladio.

I said to Annie that we need to recover the WSS archive – all kinds of really good events have been run under that banner and I think much of the documentation has sloped off somewhere. I told her who to call.

From my point of view the integration of the works – esp works involving other collaborators like Robin and Gilbert - with installation and performance is exactly what I want to do more of.

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