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ChannellingAV - developments and experiments with repurposed devices and video in live presentation

"(a) spacy experience of tone, light, human and mechanical action" - Tanja Isbarn, artist and curator

The project Channelling (previously Channeling) has been in development since the early days of lockdowns, confinement and through subsequent residencies and opportunities to explore what is possible. ChannellingAV is a direct evolution of Channelling as it became clear that some visual aid or accompaniment to the performance was required, especially in larger venues and events.

The idea to work with salvaged motor devices came from my installation and sculptural projects using these materials, as well as feeling the need to change my approach to performance. Through presenting the work as it progressed, it became clear that audiences were increasingly intrigued as to what was happening, what they were hearing and what I do during a show. I call it a presentation rather than performance as it is more a presentation of a project, with me as a collaborator with the devices, not a director. I am not in control of them - I need to work with and respond to them.

To return to the point, this is a visual presentation. The devices move, activated by sounds gathered in all the various locations have been essential in the projects development. Each has at least one LED lamp which also illuminates when the device is activated, partly as a test indicator that it is at least receiving a signal and partly as a visual indicator of which device one is hearing the voice or action of.

I have worked against showing everything that is happening, almost forcing people to only listen by strongly suggesting they close their eyes. But I know from working with these characters, that they are very intriguing in their movements and actions, and they deserve to be seen.

ChannellingAV has been presented at phono~festival, Ústí nad Labem (CZ); GAMPA gallery, Pardubice (CZ); Tresor Linz, Linz (AT); Izis Festival, Koper (SI); FriForm A/V, Ljubljana (SI) and 28.MFRU, Maribor (SI).

Below is a link to the streamed performance from Tresor Linz that featured on Dorf TV, plus some photos from the various events by Verena Mayrhofer (Linz), Jan Kruml (Pardubice) and Laszlo Juhasz (Ljubljana).

ChannellingAV top
Zero Cohesion

Zero Cohesion series, Liebig12, Berlin, Germany, June 26th 2022.


June 2022, 26th - presentation at Liebig12, Berlin, Germany for the Zero Cohesion series run by artist-in-residence Jeff Surak.

This development is the latest, which uses two cheap and adapted webcams to show the audience a little more of what is happening during the presentation, projected live as a diptych. This presentation only received positive comments and responses, whereas for previous shows there have been mixed views and opinions. And I wish to add that I was honoured by the various guests who attended the show - artists and friends I have known from numerous locations and time periods, and some I had never met, but kindly came along. Plus big Thanks to Jeff and Chester Hawkins for being great hosts.

Videos courtesy of Kyoco Taniyama

May 2022, 28th - presentation at 2220Arts+Archives, Los Angeles, USA alongside pinkcourtesyphone (Richard Chartier) and Marlo de Lara who sadly could not be present.

For this show I made a new version of the pre-recorded and edited video with macro footage of the devices used in the setup. This show definitely received very mixed responses, with some valid points and observations. I think the sound action was slightly delayed from the video starting so each scene change was acting like a visual clue for what was to come... It definitely made me reconsider using pre-recorded footage.

Thanks to Andrew Choate and Peter Kolovos for being amazing hosts. Also to Helen An for taking the video.


Château Éphémère, Carrières-sous-Poissy, France, 15th April 2022.

April 2022, 15th - the first presentation of the AV version of Channelling, prepared in only a few days within the first week of the short residency at Château Éphémère. The pre-recorded and edited video featured macro shots of each device or combination to reflect the scaling up and amplification of the tiny and often delicate sounds generated by the devices. The response was good but even with this stage I had a few people ask why it was not live and even give some (quite expensive!) suggestions regarding how to project a live feed.

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