Monday, 13 May 2013
Acclaimed artist-duo Juneau Projects are about to launch an album of five new songs made in response to the city of Worcester
The album will be released on 23rd May following a period of research in the city. The songs will then be accessible, free of charge, until late June, via USB points housed in purpose-built ‘shrines’. They can be accessed by anyone with a USB flash drive of 4GB or under.
The shrines pay homage to our 21st century seemingly insatiable worship of new technology and the instant download and will be installed in five of Worcester’s most distinctive destinations: the city’s architecturally renowned Georgian Guildhall; Worcester City Art Gallery; The Hive (the newly opened, first joint University and public library in Europe); MOVEMENT (an artist-run gallery on Worcester Foregate Railway Station); and Rise Worcester (the city’s only independent record shop).
There is a bird theme running through Juneau Projects’ work for Worcester. Their album’s title track – Blackbird in Infospace – makes oblique reference to the pears of Worcester’s coat of arms (a fruit eaten by the Blackbird). Another track, A Story of Recursion, has been inspired by the black swan pillow of Sir John Beauchamp’s tomb in Worcester Cathedral. The songs are a response to the artists’ research into Worcester’s history, to the objects and places that they have encountered there, and to the ambient sounds and spaces that people who live and work in the city have suggested to them via Twitter, talks, workshops and conversations. A small number of residents have also contributed vocals and recorded instrumental parts.
Integral to Blackbird in Infospace will be visitors’ slow-paced experience of collecting the songs, which will require stop-offs at each shrine. Reflecting the artists’ long-standing interest in contemporary resistance to new technology, their project for Worcester is intended to offer a stimulating antidote to the ever increasing speed of the worldwide web.
From late May to mid July, an exhibition of other recent work by Juneau Projects is being presented by MOVEMENT gallery, to accompany the work that they have produced in response to their time in Worcester.
Blackbird in Infospace results from one of five Turning Point West Midlands (TPWM) artist-residencies taking place in the West Midlands region in 2013. The Worcester residency has been led by the University of Worcester, working in partnership with MOVEMENT and Worcester City Art Gallery.