Caroline Devine's practice investigates the boundaries between sound and music, encompassing sound installation, electro-acoustic composition and theatre with a particular interest in the use of space as a compositional parameter. Caroline's work focuses on the voice, frequently involving the transformation of text into sound and the exploration of sounds that are disregarded or discarded. She uses text, speech, oral history and music to draw attention to voices that may be obscured, silenced or in some way absent.
For the Community Without Propinquity Research Lab, Caroline Devine has developed the work autapia (2011). She has explored public and private sound archives and interviewed people born in or around 1967. She has manipulated these vocal fragments, her own field recordings and archive material from a local band as raw material for a sound installation that investigates subculture among individuals who grew up at the same time as the town of Milton Keynes. Caroline has used this material for a sound installation in the Milton Keynes Gallery Project Space diffused through public address speakers that she has modified.
Emma Smith has a social practice that is both research- and production-based and that responds to site-specific issues. Using an interdisciplinary approach, including organised events, performance, participation and sound and text, she explores the inter-relation between people and place. Situated in the everyday, Smith's work investigates historic behaviours in relation to the present, collapsing notions of time in exploring transitory relations to place and practices of being. As part of her process, Smith regularly collaborates and works through bringing together multi-disciplinary teams. The resulting events, occurrences and instigations construct ephemeral moments that are both particular to and for the people who experience them at the time.
For Community without Propinquity Emma has interviewed community specialists in Milton Keynes about the actuality of enacting community within their work. From these conversations she has attempted to identify the individual practices of community as a motivated act as opposed to a phenomenon or organic structure. From these discussions Emma has developed a set of instructions and for a live solo performance reflecting the information gathered during this research period.
Kelly Large lives and works in London. She is interested in exploring the artist's role in the production and distribution of culture. Her current work is preoccupied with ideas and experiences of ‘being visible' and acts of public appearance. Kelly's artwork often involves a long-term involvement with an organisation or institution. 'We Are Legion,' for example, is an ongoing sculptural project that aims to connect the Arthouse Foundation gallery with the school on the same site though transforming a class of thirty pupils into an object during their seven years of primary education. She has also spent time working at the British Library and with groups of young people in a Lincolnshire town.
The Becoming is the title for Kelly Large's commissioned work for the Community Without Propinquity project. Kelly has initiated a project in collaboration with students from the Art History Department at the Open University. She is interested in the Open University as a site of transmission that produces dispersed communities connected by interest, rather than geographical proximity. Kelly describes the OU community as a disembodied one that is rarely physically experienced or made manifest. It exists as an Internet forum, a skype call, a postal batch or an online virtual learning environment instead. She is working with the dispersed community of learners (therefore a ‘community without propinquity') who are exploring the status of the art object as part of their course. In the process of their studies they shall collectively transform into an Object, realised via Kelly's interventions within the printed course material sent out to Art History students. This commission for Community without Propinquity is intended to be only the first act in what the artist hopes will be a long-term engagement.
Mark Ariel Waller
Mark Aerial Waller is an artist who works with video, sculpture and event-based practices. His many films, installations and events condense forms and symbolic orders from multiple time zones into a skillfully articulated present tense. Mark defies conventional screening formats, integrating sculptural objects and live performances for an experience of cinema defined in spatial and situational terms. He is also the founder of The Wayward Canon, a platform for event-based interventions in cinematic practices.
For the Community Without Propinquity commission, Mark has been investigating the history of Channel 40, an experimental community access television channel that was established by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation in 1976. It ran for only three years and the archives currently held at the Buckinghamshire County Archives are in too delicate condition for public view. Waller's research led him to Carry Gorney, a visionary television producer who envisaged that Channel 40 could activate a community of isolated women and young mothers in Milton Keynes' early years. Mark has produced his own video work revisiting such themes in contemporary Milton Keynes.
Patrick Staff is an artist based in London. His - often collaborative - video installation and performance pieces explore the physical and narrative implications of historiography, social spaces and forms of collectivity. He uses abstracted physical movements and dialogues, sound, sculpture and obscuring structures to create a malleable means for research and production. He has worked with a range of artists, theorists, community groups and historians and is a 2010/11 Lux Associate Artist.
The work for artist Patrick Staff's commission, which was presented at the closing event on the 26th November as a video and a performance work by Staff along with Milton Keynes' Madcap Performers, has developed out of a period of research at the archive of the Milton Keynes Discovery Centre, including a number of interviews with key planners and academic researchers, with participatory workshops. It explores urban design, growth developments, the history of the garden city and New Town movements with a particular focus on the role of the irrational, mystic and holistic in these plans and the cities themselves in order to consider how such knowledge is produced, circulated and understood by communities.