Swarm (ASX)

Although the Sydney Biennale has been over for some months, I recently received some photographs of Swarm (ASX). The project functioned as an apicultural model of the global financial system, using the sounds of honeybees to broadcast fluctuations in the stock market. 

A version of the work remains online, representing the worst day of the global financial crash (29 September 2008). The effect is rather abstracted, compared to the sensuous intensity of the buzz from the hives, en plein air, on Cockatoo Island. There one experienced a paradoxical sense that a pastoral idyll was barely holding in check an avaricious desire for money, or honey, that bordered on violence, as the metal lids on the hives vibrated with transactions.

I'm currently working on Swarm ASXa new project for Film & Video Umbrella, in homage to Kurt Schwitters – it will feature in a LATE AT TATE evening event in London this April. The project has similarities to Swarm (ASX), given it uses sound as primal matter. In this case the source is not bees but a sneeze, from Schwitters’ famous ‘Wut des Niesens’, ‘The Rage of Sneezing’ (1946), and its longer version, ‘NieƟscherzo’, ‘Sneeze Scherzo’ (1937). I plan to process the vocables of the sneeze poem score via the RNA code of human rhinovirus (HRV). More on this project soon.

In a lighter vein, I’ve been composing occasional anagrams for the Faustian class of bankers and their ligger politician mates:

Be Narks

(I) Fred Goodwin

Wined For God
Odd Grief Now

Go Win Fodder
Wider of Dong

Dodge Fir Now
Rid of Gowned

(II) Stephen Hester

He’s The Rep Sent
Then He Pesters

Then The Sprees
He’s Spent There

(III) Bob Diamond

Nimbi Do Bad
Add In Bimbo

Did I ban Mob?
A Bomb Did In!

(IV) George Osbourne

Euro Ores Be Gong
Robe Gone Rogues

Burgeon Sore Ego
Go Generous Bore

Begone Sour Ogre
Be Generous Or Go

(V) Mark Carney

Creamy Rank
Crank My Ear
Cranky Mare

'The rich are a form of pollution'

– Bill Griffiths

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