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The Tunnel

BROWN, Ian (2015) The Tunnel. [Artefact]

[img] Video (Video)
The Tunnel-HD.mp4 - AUTHOR'S ACCEPTED Version (default)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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[img] Video
The Tunnel live performance_1.mp4 - AUTHOR'S ACCEPTED Version (default)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Abstract or description

Brief Description:

Commissioned by Kit & Cutter, for the event Adventures in Pre-modern Music Part 22, at Strange Cargo in Folkestone, The Tunnel is a stand-alone video work and a video with live performance. The narrative in the work charts the Channel Tunnel’s history, from its origins in 1802, the loss of life which occurred during the early months of its construction in 1988 and Sudanese refugee Abdul Haroun's walk through 30 miles of its length, in August 2015.

Research Statement:

This research interrogates the ways in which news narratives are told and disseminated and how forms of popular culture mediate these experiences. At a time when Folkestone is at the epicentre of activities and debates surrounding the mass movement of displaced people, and the tensions associated with this, the work contextualises its history in relation to contemporary debates, utilising a narrative tradition of the heroic and the tragic. Specific cultural forms are redeployed as a strategy to enquire into the roles that they, and their associated technologies, play in the delivery of news in relation to broadcast media.

This work utilises and subverts the folk song tradition, as a mediator of historical and contemporary accounts, whereby a new narrative is set in a proposed future. The folk song tradition, of which the disaster song is one, utilises a framework in which vocal melodies and musical scores are re-used by multiple authors and narratives. It is this relationship to the readymade that allows for a continuation of the form to critique the mediation of news events and question the commodification of music (culture) as product. The video includes the earliest technological, and commercial means of music consumption, the phonograph, to discuss the tension arising at the moment at which music was productised.

The visual language of the broadside sheet, as an overlay, provides a reference point to the authorship of news narratives outside of the institutions of government or broadcast media. The broadside sheet (a mass printed lyric sheet) allowed for multiple performers to disseminate stories through social dynamics. Synthesisers and the use of free digital audio workstations replace the expected acoustic instruments allowing us to interrogate the role of the folk song if operating as heritage in the form of popular culture (Hewison, 1987).

Item Type: Artefact
Uncontrolled Keywords: INCL
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Arts and Creative Technologies > Art and Design
Event Location: Strange Cargo, Folkestone. UK
Depositing User: Ian BROWN
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2016 15:40
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2019 13:35
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/2588

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