The Laundromat by the Sea

The Laundromat by the Sea – A Yan Jun Provocation

I was invited to take part in this event by John Richards (Dirty Electronics) in December 2016. John shared a text written by the Chinese noise artist Yan Jun – there are some thoughts on this text both here and here – to practitioners across a diverse range of noise making practices. The offer was to perform in response to the text. This opportunity to explore developments in the devices created in workshops in a professional live setting was ideal. My aim was to use the elastic band drone machine (developed in many transmission+interference and ~hotwire~ workshops) as the solo device and use it as a point of interrogation for materials and objects in the making of noise. The preparation for this performance is now the core direction behind the next wave of workshops using this device that will now focus on springs, coils and transduction.

The elastic band drone machine was initially developed using just wood, screws, and elastic bands to create a playing surface / space with which to explore the potential of vibration. The simplicity of the device seems to be in the materials being used – they are cheap and can be found in stationary store cupboards or pound stores. This simple approach to materials is rewarded in the sonic output of the device that is rich and complex. In response to the Yan Jun text I began to explore how the device would respond to the introduction of more noise into the system and also how it could generate a noisier sonic output. To achieve this feedback loops were developed using physical transducers on the playing surface and electromagnetic pickup coils were vibrated alongside rubber bands and tiny homemade fm transmitters were abused by vibration to disturb fm broadcast in the local field of the performance. In connection to the research around diffraction the performance was titled ‘diffracted vibrations’.

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