Friday, 6 August 2010

Recent Statement

My current work is performance-based integrating traditional popular song forms, performance art and site-specific film projection. These works utilise elements of folk and rock music to lyrically deconstruct the song writing process and act of performance itself. The (lyrical) space usually assigned to the narrative ‘other’ is essentially inverted resulting in a self-reflexive meta-narrative that is at once confrontational, ironic and absurd. Accompanying film projections run parallel, relaying footage of the same location, performer and audience in a looped time delay that is potentially infinite in its recession.

The work is performed in music venues and galleries and consciously seeks to test perceived boundaries between the two contexts. The adoption of a moniker, ‘Mute Swimmer’ and the works’ presence on internet music platforms such as My Space and Last FM similarly seek to disperse and subvert distinctions between ‘performance artist’ and ‘song-writer’.

Concurrent work under the name ‘Dala’ applies certain conceptual constraints to form the basis of an abstract sonic project. The work ‘PC’ for example is derived entirely from two minutes of amplified silence recorded on a computer and manipulated. ‘Guitar’ is similarly composed from a recording of a guitar being plugged in to an amplifier and then being unplugged.

My work in other media is similarly reflexive in nature, in the series ‘Interventions’ photographs partially replicate the locations in which they are situated, mediating the viewers’ experience of mundane public spaces. Paintings produced for the residency/exhibitions ‘Parallax’ and ‘The Wrong Map’ take the changing conditions of light and shadow on the painting support itself (canvas, stretcher, staples etc.) as a subject whilst the Replica series consist of slightly modified photographic constructions of existing objects.

A number of key themes underpin the production of these works. Firstly their resistance to an identification with, or projection of, an 'elsewhere' figurative, metaphorically or otherwise. These works exist, often transiently in situ, referring solely to their own means of production and the context in which they operate . Their mode is that of a tautological circuit whose ostensible absence of a subject provokes the viewer's interrogation and critique of structures previously considered self-evident or 'given' in the moment of viewing.

My own working process similarly compels me to consider what this emphasis on presentness might mean, how it is accessed or indeed if it is possible; it can be said to move between an idealistic fascination with the present or things as they are whist at the same time acknowledging the frustration and impossibility of that inquiry in the process.

If these notions are the lynch pin of my activities then failure, absurdity, irony and melodrama become sub-texts, an inevitable by-product of an impossible project. As such, for all their formal or theoretical constraints, I consider my project fundamentally romantic in nature.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Mute Swimmer - Record Release

I'm pleased to say that the record is done and available to your ears for an inevitable (but hopefully worthwhile) foray into commerce. You can get it from me directly for ten English pounds including postage (at the email above), at gigs for £8, or here:
http://www.woodlandrecordings.com

I'll resist the temptation to describe the music as such. Suffice to say the album is eponymously titled. It has ten tracks with a few hidden surprises. It was recorded by Lawrence Collyer, Stephen Burch and myself in various rooms in the south of England. I mixed it with some help from Stephen and we mastered it here in Berlin.
It features the invaluable musical contributions of The Diamond Family Archive (electric guitar, keyboard, voice), Nezih Antakli (Percussion and atmospheres), Kay Johnson (vocals) and The Great Park (organ).

There are 110 numbered copies with lyric sheet inserts, fold out covers and photos which I designed and made myself with moderate mechanical interventions and the help of Fee and Stephen.

As a taster here's a free download of the song 'Different Name' from the album:
http://www.mediafire.com/?gn4lmmg0jqi
Finally thanks to the many people directly or indirectly involved for their support and patience while I've been doing this.

I hope you find something to enjoy there.

Guy/Mute Swimmer

ps:
Here's a video of Saturday night at Ida Nowhere, Neuk├Âlln, Berlin if you want to take a look:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M9KtSbx6ck

Thanks to Magdelena for this.