For Kinetica, ArtHertz will be presenting an exclusive snapshot preview of the group story telling project, Electricity and Ghosts that is centred upon the history as well as the future of the iconic Battersea Power Station in relation to its once vital role as a super power station feeding electricity to the heart of London. The project includes the work of sonic artist and robot maker, Sarah Angliss, film and video pieces by John Foxx, Orb / Mike Coles and the second appearance of the artist Andrew Back who works with the digital - analogue distinction as well as our relationship with technology particularly the social and cultural question that it implies. Andrew Back piece, 2009 Lumen Spiritus Sancti begins with a field recording made in the control room of Battersea Power Station using the iterative process developed by Alvin Lucier for his piece "I am sitting in a room" (1969).The source material is a performance of a seance in which the spirits of the place are entreated to reveal themselves. This recording is repeatedly played in the control room and re-recorded, played and re-recorded. After many iterations, the result is distorted beyond recognition but encodes the unique acoustic properties of that space.In the installation this final recording is amplified until it is powerful enough to illuminate a solitary mains light bulb. The sympathetic flicker of the fragile light links back to the room where the recording was made and provides a visual representation of something previously unseen, and unheard since the days when the power station was in full operation.The viewer is provided with a small receiver and headphones to wear, then encouraged to "walk towards the light". As they do so the cycle is completed: energy emitted from the bulb is converted back to sound and they are presented with the control room's response to the s?©ance.The piece explores the sacred-profane dichotomy and the blurring of this distinction through a process of consecration and de-consecration reflected in the feedback cycles of reproduction and representation. The installation is also a cenotaph for the engineers who built the power station and worked there.
Sarah Angliss's piece, Ealing Feeder, consists of a carillon (automatic bell-playing machine), with a small, roboticised doll, illuminated by a flickering light. This device plays an electric lullaby, inspired by an unsettling poem that the artist discovered on the pages of The Electric Age (Vol 1, 1930), a pioneering gadget magazine published by the Electrical Association for Women. The words of the lullaby are inscripted on the piece along with fragments from circuit diagrams devised around the same year as the poem. The words Ealing Feeder come from the control room of Battersea Power Station, which provided London with electricity during the boom years of the fossil fuel age.