Marcus Coates, Zoe Irvine & People Like Us, Now Hear This, 2008. Photo: Louise Hepworth. Courtesy of AV Festival 08

Marcus Coates, Zoe Irvine & People Like Us, Now Hear This, 2008. Photo: Louise Hepworth. Courtesy of AV Festival 08

Marcus Coates, Zoe Irvine & People Like Us, Now Hear This, 2008. Photo: Louise Hepworth. Courtesy of AV Festival 08

Marcus Coates, Zoe Irvine & People Like Us, Now Hear This, 2008. Photo: Louise Hepworth. Courtesy of AV Festival 08

Marcus Coates, Zoe Irvine & People Like Us, Now Hear This, 2008. Photo: Louise Hepworth. Courtesy of AV Festival 08

Marcus Coates, Zoe Irvine & People Like Us, Now Hear This, 2008. Photo: Louise Hepworth. Courtesy of AV Festival 08

Marcus Coates, Zoe Irvine & People Like Us, Now Hear This, 2008. Photo: Louise Hepworth. Courtesy of AV Festival 08

Marcus Coates, Zoe Irvine & People Like Us, Now Hear This, 2008. Photo: Louise Hepworth. Courtesy of AV Festival 08

Marcus Coates, Zoe Irvine & People Like Us, Now Hear This, 2008. Photo: Louise Hepworth. Courtesy of AV Festival 08

Marcus Coates, Zoe Irvine & People Like Us, Now Hear This, 2008. Photo: Louise Hepworth. Courtesy of AV Festival 08

Now Hear This was a series of audio works presented in various public spaces across Middlesbrough. The project featured new sound works by artists selected for their various interests in the complex relationships between sound, space and location. Adopting diverse modes of broadcast and public address, Now Hear This offered a range of listening experiences and unexpected sonic interventions into our everyday urban environment, creating surprising and engaging encounters with broadcast material.

Commissions included a new sound work by British artist Marcus Coates who broadcast local birdsong in the town’s main shopping centre, whilst Zoë Irvine presented highlights of a world wide 24-hour telephonic singing project in the local library and People Like Us offered a series of 10 free tracks celebrating the humorous side to communication breakdowns via a Bluetooth download hotspot on Middlesbrough’s main shopping street. In addition there was a Walking Tour of all the exhibition sites on Mon 3 March 2008 at 4pm.

Marcus Coates with Geoff Sample: Grounded
The Mall Shopping Centre

Marcus Coates, in collaboration with sound recordist Geoff Sample, broadcast a series of birdsong recordings in Middlesbrough's main shopping centre, The Mall. Using the existing public address system, Coates audio works feature local bird species native to the Tees Estuary and North East England. Broadcast at intervals throughout the day, Coates brings an unexpected soundtrack to this indoor urban environment, drawing some surprising parallels and contrasts between bird life and human behaviour.

Zoë Irvine: DIAL–A–DIVA
Middlesbrough Central Library

Zoë Irvine presented highlights from the audio archive of DIAL–A–DIVA, a 24-hour global, telephonic singing event celebrating one of the earliest broadcast technologies, the Theatrophone. The project recreated the theatrophone experience by allowing listeners to enjoy live musical performances from around the world via a call centre and phone lines for a 24-hour period. Visitors to Middlesbrough Central Library could hear a selection of the recorded performances on listening posts, presented alongside an exhibition of postcards and ephemera reflecting the magical experiences early telecommunications offered.

People Like Us: Breaking Waves
Bluetooth hotspot, Linthorpe Road

Vicki Bennett (aka People Like Us) produced a series of short audio works broadcast via Bluetooth in Middlesbrough Town Centre. These brief musical compositions explored the humorous side to communication breakdowns in all their varied and surprising forms. To experience Breaking Waves audiences were invited to take a Bluetooth enabled device within close proximity of the Bluetooth broadcaster - a poster site situated in front of BHS on Linthorpe Road.

Biography
Marcus Coates' practice encompasses film, audio work, and performance. He has established a reputation for producing fascinating explorations of the humorous and often dark similarities that exist between human and animal life. Recent presentations of his work include solo exhibitions at BALTIC, Gateshead, and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, both 2007. He lives and works in London.

Geoff Sample is an internationally renowned sound recordist and musician. An acknowledged expert on bird song, he has a particular interest in the ecology of acoustic communication, and is author of several publications on wildlife and sound. Sample runs his own label, Wildsong, on which he releases his bird song and natural soundscape recordings.

Zoë Irvine's practice includes sound pieces, broadcasts, participatory projects and publications. Her works often form playful narrative investigations into the industries and cultures of audio broadcast, inspired by early audio technology, broadcasting history and its historic figures. Irvine is currently Lecturer in Sound Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College, University of Dundee, and is based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

For sixteen years Vicki Bennett has been making CDs, radio, and audiovisual work under the name People Like Us. Presented as pre–recorded material and as live performance, Bennett's works animate and re-contextualise found footage, communicating a witty, dark and often surreal critique of popular culture. Her work has been shown at: Tate Modern, London; Sydney Opera House; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Sonar, Barcelona; and The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Credit
Commissioned by AV Festival 08. Curated and produced by Forma.

Marcus Coates, Zoe Irvine & People Like Us: Now Hear This

FREE

Thu 28 February – Sat 8 March 2008

Various Sites across Middlesbrough Town Centre

The Mall Shopping Centre
Middlesbrough Central Library
Linthorpe Road

Additional Information

Commissioning Partner Website