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Radiophonic Workshop at the Roundhouse
With visuals by Rory Hamilton & Jon Rogers

Radiophonic rock out!

I always like to think that Somewhere supports innovation and is ahead of the game and last night I experienced something of an uncanny direct result of this! In 2002 for TV swansong we commissioned the wonderful Generic Sci-Fi Quarry by Rory Hamilton and Jon Rogers in collaboration with members of the original BBC Radiophonic Workshop. As I understood it at the time some of them came specially out of musical 'retirement' to work on the project. Anyway it seems it was a success as last night they were back together and on stage performing at the Round House for a night of nostalgia.

What I hadn't expected to see was chunks lifted directly from the TV swansong quarry piece ... when the show began with the opening sounds and visuals from the quarry I thought for an awful moment I might have paid to watch a whole show I had commissioned 7 years earlier!! Anyway to be fair they only used two sections of the TV swansong work ... however I'm sure Rory and Jon would have liked it if these had been credited! As it was they will have to be content to know they screened alongside clips from Dr. Who, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Quatermass and err Sea trek.

the show flyer

Go Broadcast Yourself - the good old days of new media

Vintage Pope & Guthrie is currently on show at Cornerhouse in the show 'BROADCAST YOURSELF'.
The project 'TV swansong' (2002)- an insanely ambitious live, one-day webcast by artists - is part of this fascinating overview of artists' broadcasting interventions.
The artists we curated into the project were Walker & Bromwich, Chris Helson, Jessica Voorsanger, Jordan Baseman, Rory Hamilton & Jon Rogers, Georgio Sadotti and Graham Fagen.

It was a crazy project - administratively, financially, technically - in fact I found this page cached in my web browser which made me shudder to revisit the planning! But it was also a brave project that I am still very proud of. Despite horrific technical glitches on the live day, the project broke new ground artistically and technologically.

At the Cornerhouse preview last week I met with a number of nice folk from the good old days of new media. It was great to catch-up. For the first time in my career I felt how those ageing video artists must feel when looking back on their early oeuvre - a kind of affection and nostalgia for its clunkiness. We all laughed at the various technical hitches the show was suffering from - Alistair Gentry had a loose cable, I (still a very poor operator on a PC) couldn't bookmark the TV swansong website or make it the browser's 'home', though thankfully the piece's still work online some 6 years on...
It's the first time I've really recognised the 'historic-ness' of the new media work of the late 90's and early noughties, and its a credit to curators Kathy Rae Huffman and Sarah Cook that the show places this work in a continuum from the radical artists film and video of decades earlier.

I think the Youtube generation could love this show - only 3 or 4 years ago people would have found all this low-res on big screens pretty unwatchable (I remember long discussions with our more sceptical TV swansong artists about how webcasting compared formally with their more familiar single-screen gallery installations). But now we have films on mobile phones, iPlayer and a generally very wide tolerance for big pixels and wobbly shots.

'BROADCAST YOURSELF' is at Cornerhouse (I just noticed the address isn't on the preview card - pause to find it...) from 13th June till 10th August 2008

70 Oxford Street
Manchester
M1 5NH

T 0161 200 1500

Coming soon ... Somewhere the Shop!

Many thanks to Joanna Clark & Ellie Clark for their assistance with the compulsory photo shoot! Seen here modelling the two remaining TV swansong kids T-shirts ...