Anna Barham’s second solo show at Arcade consists of a new HD video Double Screen (not quite tonight jellylike) – the result of her spring residency at Wysing Arts Centre and a period at Site Sheffield.
Barham, who also takes part in the launch of Wysing’s autumn residencies on 28 September, has used rudimentary speech recognition and speech synthesis software to generate many different versions of a text, which are recombined to form the score and voiceover. The structure of the narrative, its repetitions and auditory associations, are explored and opened further through a sequence of image/symbols that are pushed back and forth between the two screens.
The main protagonist of the video is a large format UV printer, tended by the hands of an unseen (human) printer. He tapes the paper to the printer bed before the arm of the mechanical printer rolls into action, blurring the lines between body and machine in a way that points to Barham’s writing method, which pitches technological processes against the human voice to create a productive slippage.
The printer’s constant and repeating presence in the work produces a sense of continuous production: the production of ‘meaning’ in the work, in which the viewer is immersed and the continuous and unrelenting production of self.
The original text for the variations - a rumination on alphabetic text and cleaning squid – was written by Bridget Crone for another purpose but entered the discussions with Barham during her Site residency. The show at Arcade will be accompanied by a newly commissioned essay by Crone, which is both a response to the work and a result of a continuous dialogue between the artists.
Double Screen (not quite tonight jellylike) (2013), was co-commissioned by Wysing Arts Centre and Site Gallery with funding from Arts Council England and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Anna Barham’s film, Argent Minotaur Slept (2012), forms part of this weekend’s launch event at Wysing. For more details see here.