This episode of the Fermynwoods Contemporary Art Podcast features a discussion with artist Spencer Graham, whilst utilising the Music and Talk feature on Spotify, which allows for tracks to be integrated into the conversation.
Spencer Graham is an artist based in Northamptonshire, UK. His practice revolves around a deep interest in music, and questions ideas relating to materiality and place. Utilising and sharing very specific collections of music, acquired according to self-set constraints, he considers how we access, consume, use, and most importantly, listen to music.
Spencer’s deep interest in music and the everyday has led him to work with records, CDs, cassettes and MP3s as his primary media for the last ten years. In this episode Spencer discusses circular narratives, his Xylophobia / Shinrin-yoku audio mixes produced for our Xylophobia: Online exhibition, forest themed tracks that didn’t make it into those mixes, and his own fields recordings from Fermyn Woods.
Featured tracks in this episode:
A Forest – The Cure
Sleep Crime – Trees Speak
Piece 4 – Tomasz Stanko Quintet
Sleep Thru – His Name Is Alive
Laura Palmer’s Theme (Instrumental) – Angelo Badalamenti
The Bookhouse Boys (Instrumental) – Angelo Badalamenti
Forest Photographer – Maxine Funke
No Other – Grouper
Loops of Retreat (Single Edit) – JJJJJerome Ellis
Listen to the episode in full on Soundcloud below:
Books and Media Referenced in discussion (in order of appearance)
- Blackwood, Algernon. Roarings From Further Out: Four Weird Novellas by Algernon Blackwood. Edited by Xavier Aldana Reyes. (London: The British Library, 2019)
- Als, Hilton., Copeland, Huey., Lewis, George E. and Oliver, Valerie Cassel. Jennie C. Jones: Compilation. (New York: Gregory R. Miller & Co./ Contemporary Arts Museum Houston)
- Mihaylova, Snejanka. Acoustic Thought (Amsterdam: Idea Books, 2015)
- Frost, Mark., Lynch, David. Twin Peaks (ABC: 1990) – TV
- McMullen, Ken. Ghost Dance (ITV: 1983) – Film Marker, Chris. La Jetée (Argos Films: 1962) – Film
- Deren, Maya. The Witch’s Cradle (United States: 1944) – Short Film
- Weird Walk, 2019. Weird Walk, a Journal of Wandering and Wonderings from the British Isles. vol 1. Robertson, Lisa. Nilling (Toronto: Book Hug Press, 2012)
- Roeder, David. Watercolor of Jandek Debut: Music Texts 2015-2020. (Glasgow: The Grass is Green in the Fields for You, 2022)
- Ellis, JJJJJerome. The Clearing. (New York: Wendy’s Subway, 2021)
- Barthes, Roland. Mythologies. (London: Vintage, 2000) first published in French in 1957.
- Bergson, Henri. Matter and Memory, trans. By N.M. Paul and W.S. Palmer (Brooklyn, NY: Zone Books, 1988)
- Bourriaud, Nicolas. Postproduction. (New York: Lukas & Sternberg, 2002)
- Cascella, Daniela. En Abime Listening Reading Writing (Winchester: John Hunt Publishing, 2012) Cascella, Daniela. F. M. R. L.: Footnotes, Mirages, Refrains and Leftovers of Writing Sound.
- (Winchester, Zero Books, 2015)
- Farquharson, Alex, Ligon, Glenn and Manacorda, Francesco (eds.) Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions (London: Nottingham Contemporary and Tate, 2015)
- Harper, Adam. Infinite Music: Imagining the Next Millennium of Human Music-Making. (Winchester: Zero Books, 2011)
The accompanying visual is a video response to the episode, by artist Sapphire Goss.
Spencer Graham is an artist based in Northamptonshire, UK. His practice revolves around a deep interest in music, and questions ideas relating to materiality and place. Utilising and sharing very specific collections of music, acquired according to self-set constraints, he considers how we access, consume, use, and most importantly, listen to music. Previous work has included collecting photographs of people with their original (1983) pressings of New Order’s 12″ single “Blue Monday” and an ongoing exploration of how the “techno city” of Detroit is represented in flyers, posters, music journalism, record sleeves and CD inserts.
For Xylophobia our guest curators for the Fermynwoods Podcast are Marie-Chantal Hamrock and Astrid Björklund. Marie and Astrid have previously collaborated as SUBTERRA for Aerial Community Radio in Aberdeen, which “navigates speculative narratives of the chthonic (of relating to or inhabiting the underworld) through text, poetry, soundscapes and music.” The two bring their own flavour to a new series of 10 Xylophobia-themed Podcast episodes.
Sapphire Goss is a multimedia artist who uses obsolete technologies to explore experimental materiality and hybrid collaborative forms to make work that grows, decays and lives beyond the screen. Sapphire responds to each Xylophobia podcast episode with a new video.