Vaudeville: Mental Health

Green Room, Whitworth Street, Manchester, 30 May 2003

Organised by Jex: “Auto-destructive performance, plus video, dance, and who knows maybe a couple of monkeys. An installation in adjacent room by Dan Weaver on cello with live video mix by Pharmakon: using spycams, loops and footage from a recently closed South Manchester psychiatric ward and electro-shock chamber.”

Rogue State

2003, 2.15 mins, colour, stereo, DV

Vetoed UN resolutions hand-inscribed on DV tape using a magnetic quill.   Reinterpreted by the digital apparatus, these marks reveal abstract, lawless sonic and visual explosions – a fluid display of synthetic aerial terror.   The action alludes to the shared nature of entertainment and military technology in seeking perfect spectacle whilst shunning error or uncertainty. Volatile glitches unleash compressed light and sound to commemorate abandoned conventions in both the digital medium and international law. Silver Impakt Award, 2005:

“… a deceptively aesthetic burst of video confetti. But this innovative descendant of direct cinema is a digital interpretation of a text inscribed on the material; an obscured message only implied by the title” Stefanie Strathaus, Astria Suparak & Ranti Tjan, Jury.


St. Philip’s Church, off Chapel Street, Salford, 5 May 2003. Part of Salford Music Festival.

Organised by Dan Weaver: “An evening of experimental music including Philip Jeck – arcane turnatables; Disco Operating System – electronics old and new; Unplugboy – cello-input-laptop; Pharmakon (Dave Griffiths & Nick Jordan) – video enhancements”


2002, 11.00 mins, colour, stereo, DV

Results from documentation of an improvised performance made at Manchester’s Green Room involving laptop-cello mulching by Daniel Weaver (Unplugboy) and live video mixing. Footage was also gathered by Dave Griffiths & Nick Jordan from spycam surveillance of the cello-improviser recorded at DADI. Filming also took place at an abandoned electro-shock therapy ward, and from stop-animated interiors of a discarded maquette of the floor-plan.

Screened in 2002-03 in twin-channel format at Blackout, Bristol Community Festival (organised by Cube Cinema); aLectro_eCoustic, DADI, Manchester; and Listening Room, Bluecoat, Liverpool (organised by Frakture).  A single-screen version was at Video 825, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, and Night of the Infraterrestrials291 Gallery, London.  It was included in the media library at LUX Open: New British Artists’ Film & Video, RCA, London. The film was also reviewed by Echo Film Fest, Ljubliana.

The Listening Room: Liverpool

The Bluecoat, Liverpool, September 2002

Organised by Phil Morton (Frakture): Video-electro-acoustic live improv with Nick Jordan & Dave Griffiths (Pharmakon), Scott Byrne, Disco Operating System, Illuminati and Daniel Weaver (unplugboy). Twin-screen versions of Electro-Intervention, glitches, undercover Helsinki  spycam and other footage, plus drones, bleeps and prepared-cello-laptop mulching. Yeah.