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Binatone Galaxy

Stephen Corfords

Binatone Galaxy er en installasjon for kassettspillere som ser på deres foreldelse som en mulighet til å revurdere deres funksjonspotensiale. Etter at de har blitt erstattet som avspillingsapparater har de blitt selvstendige instrumenter. Ved å erstatte båndene med mikrofoner får vi muligheten til å i stedet lytte på de rytmiske og resonante egenskapene til disse en gang allestedsnærværende plastiske skallene. Binatone Galaxy gjør rammeverket til midtpunktet, innenfor hvilket en hel generasjon kjøpte favorittalbumene sine, og avslører kassettens akustikk og selve maskinenes stemmer.

Stephen Cornfords arbeid har sitt utgangspunkt i en vedvarende fascinasjon for audioelektronikk for konsumenter; hvordan dette utstyret som blir solgt til oss for at vi stadig og i stigende grad skal konsumere musikk, rammer inn hele vårt engasjement i forhold til den hørbare verden. Det å rekonfigurere disse mediene fra innsiden, gjenforestille deres funksjonalitet, trosse det at de er foreldet og søke etter deres iboende poesi er for Cornford strategier som kan brukes for å utfordre normativ bruk, sosial konformitet og myten om teknologisk fremgang. Verket består av både galleri og forestilling som tar former som kinetisk installasjon og prosessbasert fremførelse på tur, hvor man alltid leter for situasjoner hvor materialet; være seg fysisk, romlig, eller sonisk, bestemmer resultatet like mye som jeg.

Cornford er for tiden forsker ved Sound Art Research Unit of Oxford Brookes University. Han studerte skulptur ved Slade School of Fine og har en master i Art Time-Based Arts Practices ved Dartington College of Arts. Nylige soloutstillinger inkluderer visninger ved Campbell Works i London og Permanent Gallery i Brighton. Cornfords verk har blitt tatt med i Sound Art ved ZKM Centre for Media & Art og han har solgt til samlinger i Tyskland og Polen. De auditive arbeidene har blitt utgitt på Senufo Editions (Italia), Accidie Records (USA) and Another Timbre (UK) og som muskier har han hatt langvarig samarbeid med Samuel Rodgers, Ben Gwilliam og Patrick Farmer & Sarah Hughes.

Binatone Galaxy is an installation for multiple used cassette players which looks on their obsolescence as an opportunity to reconsider their functional potential. Superseded as playback devices, they become instruments in their own right. Replacing the prerecorded content of each tape with a microphone gives us the chance to listen instead to the rhythmic and resonant properties of these once ubiquitous plastic shells. Binatone Galaxy brings the framework within which a generation purchased their favourite records to the centre of attention, revealing the acoustics of the cassette and the voices of the machines themselves.

“a self-referential symphony where the listener is immersed in a dense, syncopated sonic environment, awash in the acoustics of the inner-machinations of a format” (creative applications.net)

“Binatone Galaxy is very much of the here and now, each audio cassette becomes not simply a means of playback but its own indeterminate instrument. There is a practice of deliberate anarchic displacement, an effort to place things where they shouldn’t be that is central to Cornford’s work. The results are not only playful but a necessary retaliation to all forms of authority, audio or otherwise.” (Louise Gray, The Wire)

Stephen Cornford’s work stems from an abiding fascination with consumer audio electronics: how these devices that we are sold to consume music increasingly frame our engagement with the auditory world at large. Reconfiguring these media from the inside, re-imagining their functionality, defying their obsolescence and searching for their intrinsic poetry are for him strategies with which to challenge normative use, social conformity and the myth of technological progress. The work inhabits both gallery and gig, taking the forms of kinetic installation and process-based performance by turns, always searching for situations in which the material; whether solid, spatial or sonic; controls the outcome as much as myself.

He is currently a Research Fellow at the Sound Art Research Unit of Oxford Brookes University. He studied sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art before completing a Masters in Time-Based Arts Practices at Dartington College of Arts.

Recent solo exhibitions include solo shows at Campbell Works (London) and Permanent Gallery (Brighton). His work has been included in a large scale retrospective of Sound Art at ZKM Centre for Media & Art and has been purchased for collections on Germany and Poland.

His audio works have been released by Senufo Editions (IT), Accidie Records (US) and Another Timbre (UK) and as a musician he has established ongoing collaborations with Samuel Rodgers, Ben Gwilliam and Patrick Farmer & Sarah Hughes.