Islington Mill’s residency over at the Black-E for Liverpool Biennial is now all wrapped up. It’s been a fantastic weekend of collaborations, art and performances from some truly amazing people.
Friday saw us arrive slightly late, with not much time to set up. In true Mill off the cuff style we incorporated Projection mapping live into Raikes Parade’s set, using 7 individual draped screens. Pomegranate Circus, brainchild of Sam Weaver was up next, this time using dual projections, analogue and digital. Using mini spy cam’s attached to signal lights on Sam’s analogue synths, we were able to create a reactive visual performance incorporating the output from the LED’s.
Saturday was another full on day of improvisation and collaboration. Finally I was able to get analogue inputs working correctly to my computer. For the set with Dwellings, I took the feed from Chris’ analogue video synth, through Arena to give a digitally manipulated reactive analogue feed.
Michael O’Neil was up next again working with Dwellings. As always a mind blowing and engaging set.
Charles Hayward was back in town, this time improvising with a number of different Liverpool musicians, including members of Stealing Sheep, a.P.A.t.T. and Gnod. Another fantastic collaboration, with a totally different feeling and atmosphere to the mill sessions. Hopefully it won’t be the last time we see everyone from both sides working together.
Artists John Powell Jones (SAVWO) and Alliyah Hussain (Volkov Commanders) collaborate to create sound and visual arts performances.
(JPJ and AH ‘Composition’)
For ‘Composition’ acrylic sheets are mic-ed, painted and used as a reactive surface to create hand drawn prints. The audio from the sheets is turned into a reactive looped performance. As each sheet was completed and hung, a live feed of the work was mapped to each individual print, creating a multiple screen display, in a full loop of the performance.
Closing the night, the second performance from Pomegranate Circus. As we had finally been able to get the analogue inputs working, this time the analogue signal from the cameras was manipulated and layered digitally. Again, reacting to the signal from the LED’s, the digital process allows further live manipulation.
Sunday began in a way calmer, more relaxed fashion. As Maurice Carlin’s Endless Pages work began to be more and more disassembled and given out to it’s Temporary Custodians, the Islington Mill creative exchange hung the various collages and artworks created over the weekend, Manchester’s Manage a Trois graced the stage with beautiful slow paced tracks including a cover of Islands in the Stream. With a backdrop of beautiful swirling blue water, it was the perfect start to a Sunday.
(Menage a Trois)
Things took a turn for the sinister, with the debut of Deep Hedonia’s FUCKSAKE, apparently their only performance (not if we’ve anything to do with it). Pulsing industrial rhythms and noise, accentuated by a gentleman who goes by the moniker ‘Golden Tony’ in a coffin, lots of smoke and terrifying live manipulated visuals from Thom Isom. Think a very bad trip watch IT, Scanners, Robocop and Nightmare on Elm Street all at the same time. At Gasamtkunstwerk.
CHRISTEENE. What can I say. Disgusting. Sexy. Incredible. As ever. Fresh from her performances in London at the SOHO Theatre (of which new dates have been added) Despite a few mic problems, She graced the stage as only she could, turning the Black-E into probably the sleaziest state of affairs it’s ever been in. Wonderful to see her back, make sure you catch her performance at the next instalment of BUMMER CAMP down at the mill. (The bouncy castle will be back in courtyard too.)
Thanks to everyone in Liverpool that came down and ate, chatted, performed and got involved, to everyone at the Black-E, and especially to all the Mill heads that as ever, made the weekend so special.
NEXT UP: I’ll be collaborating with two more VOLKOV COMMANDERS and Guardian Alien at Islington Mill Thursday 17. Live streamed visuals and madness.
•All images stolen without permission or regard, right off the mill Instgram feed. More here!
For the opening weekend of the 2014 Liverpool Biennial (4, 5, 6 July), Islington Mill takesover the legendary Black-E building on Liverpool’s Great George Street. During the residency, a collection of artists and performers associated with Islington Mill will relocate to the Black-E under the broad banner #TemporaryCustodiansOf
This theme not only describes our temporary relocation, but more importantly it unites a prevailing theme in the work of many Islington Mill artists, while also suggesting a potential ongoing ethos for the Mill itself. As with the 2013 Ibiza residency, constructing a microcosm of the Mill in a new environment allows for a clearer picture of the way the Mill functions as a uniquely independent entity, beyond the confines of any particular building. This lesson comes at a very important time, as partway through the residency the decision will be announced regarding our much-anticipated large-scale Arts Council funding application, the outcome of which could represent the largest material change for Islington Mill since the building was purchased.
Our #TemporaryCustodiansOf residency provides a forum to respond to and analyse our ideas surrounding this across a variety of disciplines, as well as having a whole load of music, food and good times in the process..!
The Black-E itself is a unique Liverpool institution, the first cross-purpose community and arts venue of its kind, in continuous use since the late 60s, and an ideal sister venue for Islington Mill to take on the Biennial’s broader themes of artistic education, debate and collaboration.
Events taking place at the Black-E include the next stage of Maurice Carlin’s Endless, Pageless artwork, which will be disassembled and dispersed amongst its own ‘temporary custodians’, as will components of Jen Wu’s The Wall project.
There will be pot luck dinners to keep everyone fed (we’re even bringing our much-loved kitchen table from the Mill along with us), plus DJs and live collaborative music to entertain, and to wrap up the weekend, an icon of Islington Mill, the genderqueer drag explosion that is Christeene Vale. Friday night I will be performing alongside Sam Weaver as part of Pomegranate Circus and Raikes Parade, and Saturday sees the always welcome return of Mr. Charles Hayward.
We welcome friends old and new to participate and join us during this exciting residency. Check on our Facebook and Twitter pages to catch details of individual events, including all of the (un) usual goings on back home in Salford.
Keep an eye out for other goings on over the course of the weekend, the Black - E will be open from 10am daily.