February 10, 2018
An occasional installation project in which I mortar an mp3 device into the fabric of a structure, somewhere in the city or its outskirts. A rumination on the built environment, a discreet intervention.
This edition takes place in Miles Platting, Manchester; a nebulous terrain nudging into Ancoats, Ardwick, Clayton. A region sometimes satanic, sometimes magic. A forlorn outskirt; a seance territory. A place to which I have been magnetised time and again.
I kept coming here because I had no where else to go. Through a clump of unassuming inner city factory districts I walked, to burn out anxiety patterns and seek consolation, forming my own occult of East Manchester totems and territories, their leylines extending to Audenshaw and Ashton, sites of childhood and birth.
It seemed to offer a habitat, a place to belong. There’s an oblique but deeply felt connection and communication. Humble treasure and gleaming ruincolours, porous with industrial remnants and revenants, their supernatural transmissions still perceivable even as its terrain is changing, vanishing.
So I make my superstitious returns, Inhabitant of an internalised raggedy landscape, finding invention, transformation, reciprocity. Hear the voices of the landscape before they are scrubbed out….
Scrub falls silent
March 5th: Scrub withdraws back into the breezeblock and stone to ruminate on what was, and what will be, and ready its return at an unknown time, in another landscape, to sing another song.
Scrub was formed of stones and breezeblock found on the site, and hurriedly cemented in place on a freezing February afternoon. A rubble tower; a mini fortress. A sentinel on the shore of the wasteland.
As if it had formed itself, unnoticed… the heavy stone and breezeblock edging themselves together inch by inch; the red letters pushing up through the cracks and weeds in a wilderness telekinesis, willing itself into being to transmit a final valedictory signal before erasure. Scrub sang on for 18 days in subzero temperatures, snow and rain, its transmitter pulling in strangers from who knows where, to this rubble-strewn outskirt, to plug in and step into seance territory.
To hear my voice, whispering inside the breeze block, and an unreleased track ‘Little Fugue’ – haunted pop composed of an anxious drum machine and brittle guitar. An account of dissociation and refuge, a paean to the outskirts and nettled ground. Scrub as visitation; a benevolent spectre possessing the landscape, to sing awhile with the weeds and rubble in celebration of humble treasure, play and imagination.
Its transmitter now dead, for unknown reasons – its batteries died, or else some consequence of being an outdoor installation. And so goes this ritual territory, and with it all the quiet moments of rainy light, the luminous sensations and small gems enveloping me till I felt I was a flickering projection among the razorwire and ruincolors, part of a glowing region, defiantly its own raggedy badlands. Now former, now receding into the land behind, to enter the psyche estate of revenant presences, visible only to those with nouse, an eye for quiet detail, an antennae for the hidden.
Spectral continuity; Scrub now moves on..leaving behind its breeeblock host to fold into the entropy of the landscape it was mourning and celebrating…broken rubble, rubbish. Now exiled to the seance territories, yet recoverable —
Scrub Transmission; Miles Platting: 16th February – 5th March
A selection of images from the installation site, some taken by me, some by visitors, across various dates and weather conditions during active transmission 16th February – 5th March.