‘Tuning in a Vacuum’ is a 40 minute live performance of seven sound-based sculptures, where materials, space and sound were played out in a politics of negotiation with performers. The movements and sounds that unfolded around each sculpture were internal to their form and function, with each new performer a different set of relations played out. The objects referenced early instruments, such as the Sussex Trumpet in their design and playing. Textiles and handmade costumes were inspired by the work of local artist Ethel Mairet whose practice involved foraging local plants from the South Downs for natural dyes. The installation’s moving architectural sound sails are informed by the Bauhaus Dessau stage architecture that opens out into the Bauhaus students’ canteen, connecting performance and communal spaces. This performance was supported by The Foundation Foundation Emerging Artist Award.
The bronze-age trumpet discovered down a well is one of the earliest musical instruments from Sussex (the county of Towner Eastbourne). Similar ancient trumpets have often been found discarded as pairs, suggesting their use in ritual. Duets between paired objects and performers developed into trios, quads and quintets, resulted in intimate and expansive sounds.
Handmade costumes and acoustical furniture were inspired by the work of local artist Ethel Mairet whose textiles-based practice involved foraging local plants from the South Downs for natural dyes. In addition, the installation was inspired by Bauhaus Dessau stage architecture, which connects performative and communal spaces.
Tuning in a Vacuum was performed by Luke Birch, Claire Godsmark, Emma Lindsay, Claudia Kappenberg and Rita Evans. Movement Advisor Yael Flexer. Live Sound by Suzie Burrows.
Curated by Noelle Collins, Exhibitions & Offsite Curator, Towner Eastbourne.
Supported by The Foundation Foundation Emerging Artist Award.