The Longplayer Trust
31 Eyre Street Hill, London EC1R 5EW, UK
Registered Charity No. 108 7243
The Longplayer Trust was established at the end of 2000 to take responsibility for Longplayer’s upkeep for at least its first 1,000 year cycle. This involves researching and implementing the means to keep Longplayer playing, in ensuring its sustainability, and making it available to as larger number of people as possible. The trust also looks after the listening post at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London.
The trustees are: Karen Alexander, curator and researcher; Ansuman Biswas, artist; James Bulley, artist, curator, composer; Sam Collins, designer and production manager; Edie Culshaw, arts fundraiser (Co-Chair); Gareth Evans, writer, curator; Jem Finer, artist, musician and Longplayer composer; Ella Finer, artist (Co-Chair); Lois Keidan; Eric Reynolds, urban developer; Gavin Starks, founder of dGen; and Mariam Zulfiqar, director of Artangel.
Karen Alexander is a London-based independent film and moving image curator and researcher. She has worked with and for the Royal College of Art and the British Film Institute and has consulted for a wide range of national and international cultural institutions and art galleries, including, Iniva, Watershed Bristol, Power Plant, Tate, the Serpentine Gallery and Autograph.
Karen has programmed and spoken widely about historical and cultural cinema and UK artists’ film and video. Recent curatorial projects include A Passion for Remembering: The Films of Maureen Blackwood, Cinema Rediscovered, Bristol (2019), Dream Time: We All Have Stories, Nuit Blanche, Toronto (2018), Whip It Good: Spinning From History’s Filthy Mind, Jeannette Ehlers, Autograph, London (2015). In 2017 she co-founded Philomela’s Chorus a moving image commissioning and exhibition platform for women of colour and is currently a tutor at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London.
Ansuman Biswas was born in India and trained in the UK. He has an international practice encompassing music, film, live art, installation, writing, and theatre. He is interested in hybridity and interdisciplinarity – often working between science, art, and industry, for instance, or between music, dance, and visual art.
Over the last few years his work has included directing Shakespeare in America, translating Tagore, designing underwater sculptures in the Red Sea, living with wandering minstrels in India, being an ornamental hermit in the English countryside, touring with Björk, surviving blindfolded in an unknown place, travelling with nomadic shamans in the Gobi Desert, playing with Oasis, collaborating with neuroscientists in Arizona, living for a week with nothing but what spectators chose to give him, singing for 24 hours non-stop, organizing grassroots activists in Soweto, meditating in a box for ten days with no food or light, creating a musical in a maximum-security prison, bathing strangers, being a soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, holding seminars in a Burmese monastery, running a club for women in Hamburg’s red-light district, playing with terminally ill children, making a radio telescope sing and dance, being locked in a Gothic tower alone for forty days and nights, flying on a real, live, magic carpet, and stopping time.
Ansuman is a Director of Arts Catalyst, the science-art agency, and also of the Live Art Development Agency. He has had a leading role in developing academic programmes at Dartington College of Arts and at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has pioneered new models of interdisciplinary collaboration at Hewlett-Packard’s research lab in Bangalore and has been artist-in-residence at the National Institute of Medical Research in London. He has been part of a ground-breaking study group for the European Space Agency on Cultural Utilization of the International Space Station, and he has been involved in setting up cultural initiatives with the Indian Space Research Organization and the National Institute of Advanced Studies, India.
James Bulley (b.1984) is an artist, composer and researcher whose practice explores sound, space and the more-than-human world.
Works include: Dawns, a live composition for five players in distant locations, created in collaboration with the artist group non zero one and the National Trust (premiered at dawn, 16 May 2020); the world premiere performance of Daphne Oram’s Still Point with Shiva Feshareki and the London Contemporary Orchestra (BBC Prom 13, July 2018); Tactus, a touch–music textile landscape for the blind and visually impaired (Crafts Council, Kaunas Biennial 2015–); Living Symphonies (2019–), a live symphonic composition for ecosystems by Jones/Bulley (commissioned by Forestry Commission & Sound and Music); Variable 4 (2014–), a live landscape composition driven by real-time atmospheric conditions by Jones/Bulley, and Turn of the Screw, a virtual landscape work created with Opera North and Lusion (2020). Bulley collaborates on an ongoing basis with the art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast, including three spatial audiovisual installation works, The Tides Within Us (2019–), Distortions in Spacetime (2018–) and Nest (2018).
Sam Collins is a designer and production manager who specialises in the creation and delivery of new and challenging artworks. He has worked on a diverse range of projects across contemporary art, exhibitions, performance and theatre. His design projects include Siobhan Davies’ Bird Song (2004), Drifting and Tilting – The Songs of Scott Walker (Barbican, 2008), Ritual pour une Metamorphose (Comedie Francaise, Paris, 2013), The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined (Barbican Art Gallery, 2016) and a handbag museum in Seoul, Korea (Simone Handbag Museum, opened 2012).
Sam has been associated with the Manchester International Festival since its inception in 2007, working on Il Tempo del Postino (2007), Marina Abramovic Presents (2009) and The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic (2011) and as Production Designer on Douglas Gordon’s Neck of the Woods (2015) and Yael Bartana’s What if Women Ruled the World (2017). In 2009 Sam collaborated with Jem Finer on Longplayer Live, designing the physical manifestation of the score to enable it to be played live on singing bowls in both The Roundhouse, London and Yuerba Buena Centre in San Francisco. In addition to his freelance projects, Sam is also Head of Production at Artangel.
Edie Culshaw (Co-Chair)
Edie Culshaw is an arts fundraiser, specialising in trusts, foundations and statutory funding bodies. She has worked with a variety of cultural organisations including the Geffrye Museum of the Home, York Theatre Royal and Jacksons Lane arts centre. She is currently the Trusts and Foundations Manager at Sadler’s Wells, and is raising funds for Sadler’s Wells East, a new mid-scale space in east London at the heart of a new cultural and education district in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Before focusing on fundraising, Edie was a producer, working with the dance company Clod Ensemble, artists such as Jeremy Deller, Kate Bond and Morgan Lloyd, and through the Manchester International Festival, with curators Hans Ulrich Obrist and artists Tino Seghal, Marina Abramovich and Joan Jonas. She has an Arts Management MA and a BA in English and Drama from the University of Manchester.
Gareth Evans is a London-based writer, editor, film and event producer and Whitechapel Gallery’s Adjunct Moving Image Curator. He hosts the LRB Screen at Home programme and curates for Forum of the Future Porto, Estuary, First Light, Flipside and Swedenborg Film Festivals. He commissioned and co-produced the essay films Patience (After Sebald) by Grant Gee (Artevents, 2011), Things (Ben Rivers, FVU, 2014) and World Without End (Jem Cohen, Estuary, 2016). He executive-produced By Our Selves (Andrew Kotting and Iain Sinclair, 2015) and Erase and Forget (Andrea Luka Zimmerman, Berlin 2017). He has programmed major retrospectives of the films of Jem Cohen, Mike Dibb, Xiaolu Guo, Alexander Kluge, Chris Marker, Jonathan Meades and Laura Mulvey & Peter Wollen. He has conceived and curated numerous film and event seasons and festivals across the UK including Utopia 2016 (Somerset House), Place (Aldeburgh Music, 2011-2014), ‘The Re-Enchantment’ (UK, 2011), ‘All Power to the Imagination! 1968 & Its Legacies’ (2008) and ‘John Berger: Here Is Where We Meet’ (2005). He has written many catalogue essays and articles on the artists’ moving image.
Ella Finer (Co-Chair)
Ella Finer works with performance, sound and acoustic subjectivities as a Lecturer at Syracuse University, London. Ella Finer’s work in sound and performance spans writing, composing and curating with a particular interest in how women’s voices take up space. She studied in Glasgow and London, completing a PhD in 2012 on materialities of the female voice in performance and has taught widely. Her current and ongoing research project about sound politics queries the ownership of cultural expression through sound, so far taking form in published articles, book chapters and public lectures on subjects including feminist legacies of echoic sound, social acoustics and urban infrastructure, and sonic miscellanies or “the wild life of sound“. This work has also informed recent curated events Selector Responder: Sounding out the Archives (I and II) at the British Library (as part of their Season of Sound 2017 and ‘18) and the founding of the Acoustic Commons Study Group in association with Soundcamp 2019. As a trustee for Longplayer Ella produced Longplayer Legacies: Live at the Lighthouse with Laura Cannell, Larry Achiampong and Vanessa Brown with an award from Sound and Music as a 2018 Composer-Curator.
Uncomfortable with labels such as composer, sound artist or musician, Jem Finer sees all of his activities as emanating from the same obsessive curiosity that has led him, among other things, to make films, take photographs, form bands, draw, write, perform, compose, play music and build installations. An enduring fascination with deep time and space has been the impetus behind much of his work. Some of his other projects can be found on the following sites:
Lois Keidan co-founded the Live Art Development Agency and was Director until 2021. She was Director of Live Arts at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London from 1992 to 1998. Prior to the ICA, she was responsible for national policy and provision for Performance Art and interdisciplinary practices at the Arts Council of Great Britain, and before that she worked at Midland Group, Nottingham and Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh. She was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Dartington College of Arts in 1999, an Honorary Fellowship by Queen Mary, University of London in 2009, and an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Gothenburg in 2015.
Eric Reynolds has been involved in numerous urban regeneration schemes since the early 1970s, many including the practical re-use of historic buildings. In 1972 he spearheaded the restoration of a derelict building in Clerkenwell as one of the first craft workshops in the country. With two partners, he started the 1974 conversion of Camden Lock, which is now one of the top tourist attractions in London.
He has repeated this success at many other locations around the country. Those he has developed and/ or runs include the Elephant And Castle shopping centre, Merton Abbey Mills, Spitalfields Old Fruit And Vegetable Market, Gabriels’ Wharf, Greenwich Market, Bishopsgate Goodsyard, Merton Abbey Mills, Platform 12 Kings Cross, Swindon Market Hall, Sneinton Market Square in Nottingham and Green Park Market in Bath.
He is responsible for leading the regeneration of Trinity Buoy Wharf, opposite the Millenium Dome, where Longplayer has been housed since its launch in 1999. This is the site of London’s only lighthouse, for which he won a development/management competition from the LDDC to develop a centre for arts and creative activity. Here he has pioneered the re-use of shipping containers to create buildings in a system called Container City.
He acts as a regeneration advisor across the country and is a director and member of several other voluntary bodies. He is a past Board member of Tower Hamlets College, a Freeman of the Waterman and Lightermans Company, an Honourary Fellow of the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), on the Board of Governors for the Museum of London and a Trustee of the Royal Museums Greenwich FRSA Chairman of the SS Robin Trust and of Medway Maritime Heritage Trust.
Gavin Starks has spent 20 years helping to make our data infrastructure useful to everyone: creating and leading businesses, bringing together the web, finance, policy, data, science, the environment, art and media. This has led to the creation of dozens of companies, the employment of 100’s of people, and £100Ms in measurable impact (including $137M in four years at the ODI) and helping to create $multi-billion markets through the development of regulated markets such as the Open Banking Standard.
Working with others Gavin has tackled complex challenges ranging from climate change to government transparency; digital supply-chains to open banking. His ambition is to create positive impact@web-scale on issues that require the coordination of multidisciplinary teams across private, public and third sectors. Harnessing the power of people and machines (‘collective intelligence’), his current Dgen Constellation projects include the internationalisation of Open Finance and making data work harder to deliver net-zero via IcebreakerOne.org (which launched at Davos in 2020).