Sound Art Work and Display
Audio 21 May – 13 November 2016
Display 21 May - 2 July 2016
Walk, sit, drift and meander from the Harris to the Cenotaph to experience this new sonic art work. Take part by collecting headphones from the Harris Library.
Homing is based on the original letters of Preston soldiers serving in the front line trenches of World War 1, from the archives of Lancashire Infantry Museum. Follow @homingpreston for daily quotes from the soldiers’ writings.
The letters demonstrate the attempts of soldiers and their loved ones to keep in touch despite the war. The distance was not only physical; the longer the war continued, the greater the distance in life experience between soldiers and those at home. Each letter represents an attempt to bridge that gap and, as much as is said, more is left unsaid or is unsayable.
Homing uses sound to make connections at a distance; between presence and absence, people and place, displacement and home.
The experience begins at at the Harris' Roll of Honour and moves out onto Preston's Flag Market and the Cenotaph.
Photographs, drawings and letters belonging to the soldiers can also be seen in the museum's first floor cabinets until 2 July.
At the Roll of Honour, sound from the cemeteries at the Somme can be heard, with all the sensory qualities of the local conditions; wind, rain, whistling, stonework. On the Flag Market, these sounds give way to fragments of stories from the men in the trenches; a stilted marriage proposal, an enquiry about health, a thank you for kippers sent through the post, a description of daily conditions and accounts of the terrible realities of the conflict.
Approaching the Cenotaph, the soldiers’ words are disrupted by ever intensifying GPS interference. This distant technology of modern warfare, creates a sonic 'fog' through which individual voices can no longer be heard, reflecting the difficulty of communication through the constant battle between signal and noise.
Homing is a special commission by In Certain Places and Preston Remembers, developed with the support of Lancashire Infantry Museum and the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts and the Centre for Mobilities Research at the University of Lancaster.
Homing is a sound art work created by artists Jen Southern and Sam Thulin with the Media Innovation Studio at the University of Central Lancashire.
Jen Southern works with relationships between people, technologies and places. Her working process is usually collaborative and often begins with the tracking or tracing of movement and communication, such as with a Mountain Rescue Team and its dogs, or with players in a mass football game. Southern undertakes experimental and often playful research related to a specific place, time or group of people. Whether it is learning to fly a light aircraft or making videogame clothing, her work plays with the idea of what it means to live life alongside or within networks. In collaboration with other artists, technologists or members of the public she works with the layering of digital and physical in everyday local environments.
Recent work has been with: Abandon Normal Devices Festival; National Football Museum, Manchester; Mobile Media Studio, Montreal; ISIS Arts, Newcastle; The Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol.
Jen Southern also a lecturer in Fine Art and New Media at Lancaster University. As director of the Mobilities Lab at the Centre for Mobilities Research she is involved in developing mobile and creative research methods that combine art practice and social research.
Sam Thulin is a PhD student in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University. His research is concerned with concepts of mobility, place, sound, and music, particularly when combined in practices such as listening to music during public transportation. Currently he is investigating developments in mobile sound and their links to the increased processing power and connectivity of mobile devices. Thulin is also involved in sound art and sound design, and is interested in creating pieces that explore ideas around mobility as well as relationships between sound and music.