Follow Us on Twitter

Deep Relaxation - Ferreira Projects

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

OVER a five-week period, Tom Milnes will be creating a sound installation by transforming the Gallery Studio at Ferreira Projects into what is described as an ambient wonderland using culturally redundant audio material.

From June 14, 2008 and following the completion of his Residency, the site-specific installation will be available for viewing when Milnes will be introducing Deep Relaxation and offering a free limited edition, hand-recorded cassette tape which features recordings of the ambient soundtracks.

Using culturally redundant materials such as walkmans and New Age relaxation tapes, the space will be draped with loops of audiotape stretching the width of the room. These loops will be installed in situ, organised into patterns, winding their way up walls and over viewers’ heads. Audio from the moving tape will be played through speakers, layering the nature sounds together. The actual result is an un-ambient cacophony of various animal noises and New Age music; a work that, ironically, will be uneasy to relax in.

On entering the space viewers will walk on unfolded tape sleeves laid down on the floors like an Islamic design. With tape over head and sleeves under foot, the experience is an aptly confusing mix of cultural references, being playfully New Age. Far from a spiritual experience, the piece may remind the viewer of technological advancements, cultural wastage and fads.

Milnes will be spending the residency collecting components and installing the loops into the studio. All the parts used in the installation are either spares or redundant, this is not to say they don’t work anymore, it is that they are not needed. Most of the machines function perfectly and where possible are untouched and as original as when first new.

However, many ‘broken’ machines still have workable components and these are clearly used in the work. Unlike many sonic art projects where machines are stripped bare of their casing for an electronic lab aesthetic, Milnes feels this is all important to the content of the work and that it links the technology to a time, use and memory. Far from a museum display, the walkmans and tapes are actively performing as they were created to.

Deep Relaxation is part of Ferreira Projects_01, a new artist in residence programme based within the Ferreira Projects gallery whereby artists are invited to use the studio space to develop a significant body of work for exhibition at the gallery.

Admission: Free.

Ferreira Projects, Lower Ground Floor, 23 Charlotte Road, London, EC2A 3PB.