Longplayer Events & Talks

Longplaying June – September 2011



Featuring: ANDREW KÖTTING (Filmmaker), IAIN SINCLAIR (Author), DAVID ROONEY (Curator of Transport, Science Museum), RICHARD WILSON (Artist) and PAUL SHEPHEARD (Architect and Writer).

4.  David Rooney: Navigating experimental invention, survival and destruction: the Royal Observatory and GMT 28 September 2011

Curator and historian David Rooney talked about the long-term experiment of Greenwich Mean Time.

On reaching the corner of Greenwich Park, a quiet suburban district, the police had found, amid a motley debris of trees, bushes and railings, the charred and shattered remains of a man.
Newspaper report, 1894.
Wait till they start on the Greenwich Observatory. London without time will cause them to wake up.
Suffragette conversation, 1913.

David Rooney is currently a curator at the Science Museum and formerly curator of timekeeping at the Royal Observatory, and was involved in the installation of Longplayer listening posts at both museums. He is interested in the roles played by material artefacts in long-term institutional survival strategies, and the ways people can seek to destabilise experiments in normalisation.

[ download mp3 audio ]

3.  Andrew Kötting & Iain Sinclair: Swandown 7 September 2011

In the third of this summer’s Longplaying events artist and film maker Andrew Kötting and writer Iain Sinclair talked about their new collaborative work Swandown and the Long Pedal.

Kötting hauled a plastic swan, a lure, as we walked. We were accompanied by a pair of mature students from the art college where he taught: one of them had got himself into shape for this by completing the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and the other kept a record with a pinhole camera made from a Swan Vesta matchbox. Random encounters calibrated our progress.
Iain Sinclair, 2010

More information about the project is at www.swandown.info.

[ download mp3 audio ]

2.  Paul Shepheard: The Bowl of the Horizon 28 July 2011

For this one-off event, writer and architect Paul Shepheard devised a lecture on ‘The Bowl of the Horizon’, based on initial discussions he had as part of the original Longplayer steering group. There was a conversation about what kind of instrument could play for a thousand years, and one of the examples was the cathedral clock in Salisbury cathedral, which is now about 800 years old.

Developing from this are some thoughts about the gothic cathedrals, which model deep time structures in actual space. There is a sense in which infrastructure overcomes its first purpose and develops meaning over long periods of time. This is most telling in viewing the horizon, which is what the lecture will ultimately describe; and associated with this viewing is the equation of experiment with experience that was explicit to the early scientists.
Paul Shepheard

Paul Shepheard is a writer living in London, England. He is married with three children. He is qualified as an architect but since the publication of What is Architecture? by the MIT Press in 1994 has gradually shifted the emphasis of his activities to writing and lecturing. He has two other books with the MIT Press: The Cultivated Wilderness (1997), about landscape, and Artificial Love (2003), about architecture and machines. He has taught at the Architectural Association in London, the University of Texas at Austin and the Academie Van Bouwkunst in Amsterdam. His website is www.paulshepheard.com.

1.  Richard Wilson: The Butterfly Effect 29 June 2011

Richard Wilson at Trinity Buoy Wharf. [Unknown] [ENLARGE]

The Longplaying season kicked off on the 29th of June with a memorable talk entitled ‘The Butterfly Effect’ from renowned artist Richard Wilson. Wilson showed five films and talked about his use of film in sculptural works. As the lecture progressed, actions outside of the lecture occurred and built up into something towards a sound happening, with participants including Anne Bean and Wilson’s son on electric guitar.

‘The Butterfly Effect’ lecture was both a chance to introduce to the audience an aspect of my sculptural practice being film, and also a sense of process and experimentation that has always been a mainstay. The inclusion of small, non-related sonic events in the initial lecture caused a chain of expanding events, leading to large-scale alterations of what I intended to say, therefore forcing an improvised session. I was trying to find my own parallel to Longplayer... where a preconceived, calculated time event is allowed to fragment and find its own reason to exist once activated.
Richard Wilson, July 2011

Shortplayer in Pittsburgh 1 October – 31 December 2010

For three months, Wood Street Galleries in Pittsburgh hosted a Longplayer listening post. The opening night, 1 October 2010, saw the world premiere of Shortplayer #1, the first of a new series of compositions by Jem Finer.

Shortplayer #1 is an hour-long composition for 7 brass and reed players based on the compositional pricipals of Longplayer.

The method of Longplayer’s composition can be regarded as an algorithm whose variables may be changed to create any number of new compositions. In this sense, Longplayer is itself just one of these possible compositions, its title referring directly to its own extreme duration. Conversely, there exist a number of possible compositions in which Longplayer’s variables are adjusted so that a composition might last only a very short time – an hour, for instance. Shortplayer is the generic name for these possible short-durational compositions, which can be arranged for any group or combination of instruments and/or voices.

At Wood Street Galleries, the Shortplayer ensemble consisted of:
Roger Day (tuba)
Roger Dannenberg (trumpet)
Jem Finer (trumpet)
Mark Fromm (baritone sax)
Brandon Masterman (soprano sax)
Ben Opie (alto sax)
Lou Stellute (tenor sax)
David Bernabo (musical director)
Thanks to Justin Hopper (without whom Longplayer may never have gone to Pittsburgh), Murray Horne and everyone at Wood Street Galleries.

An interview can be found here and an article from the Pittsburgh Post here.

[ download mp3 audio ]

A Slow Walk for Longplayer 21 June 2005

‘A lovely idea. I hope it becomes a genre.’ – Stuart Brand, The Long Now Foundation

Early on the 21st June 2005, Ohad Fishof set out to walk very slowly across London Bridge.

‘Set against the varying speeds and rhythms of urban life – pedestrians, cars, trains, airplanes, water, clouds, birds, boats and buildings – a Slow Walk is a simple way of giving form to the passing of time. Slowing down a natural, instinctive action such as walking exposes its mechanical depths and inherent dramas. It magnifies slight changes. As in the slow motion shots of a blooming flower in wildlife documentaries, it allows ones attention to shift, enabling the rediscovery of the slow, invisible changes behind the fast visible ones. Also, I like to think of Slow Walk as a possible futuristic sport – extreme sport in reverse.’

Fishof proposed this, his first in a projected series of slow walks, as a fund raiser for Longplayer, drawing on, and highlighting, an affinity between the two projects.

‘People run or cycle for charities and causes. I thought it suitable to connect the Slow Walk project to other cultural activities that deal with long-term thinking – of which Longplayer is a supreme example.’

As a slow take on the ‘sponsored walk’ and ‘guess the weight of the cake’, the public were invited to wager five pounds on an estimate for the exact duration of Fishof’s walk.

He completed the walk in 9 hours, 43 minutes and 25 seconds.

Ohad Fishof is an artist and musician, working in a diverse range of fields including sound, dance, video, performance and writing. Born in Jerusalem in 1970, Fishof began his artistic career in the mid-Eighties as the leader of the experimental pop band The Top Hat Carriers. He later moved on to compose music for dance, performance and art installations, while at the same time expanding his artistic endeavors to other media. In the early Nineties Fishof relocated to London. In 1997 he received an MA in choreography from Laban Centre London, where he later became a visiting lecturer. Since then, his work in dance and performance, as well as his sound installations, have been presented in England, Japan, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey, Switzerland, Israel and at the 2001 Venice Biennale in Italy (with Uri Katzenstein). Fishof moved back to Israel in 2003. He lives and works in Tel Aviv and teaches at the Beit Berl Art college. There is more about Fishof here.

The Artangel Longplayer Conversations 2005 – Present

Each year, as a way of celebrating the vision behind Longplayer’s long term aspirations, Artangel invites a leading cultural thinker to conduct a public conversation with someone they have never met, and to engage in a discussion inspired by the philosophical premise of a project which unfolds, in real time, over the course of a millennium.

Detailed information on each of these events can be found on the Longplayer Conversations page.

What Where Listen live News Longplayer Live Longplayer Live Upcoming Dates Name a Bowl An Overview Conceptual Background How Longplayer Works Survival Strategies What Else The Longplayer Bookshop Letters Conversations The Pendulum Swings - Christine Wertheim and Margaret Wertheim