On the 21st October 2012, the first (and hopefully not the last) Orphans Showcase was held at The Belmont Picturehouse, Aberdeen as part of the Sound Festival.  The event was a celebration of new audio-visual intermedia; installations, live performances and screenings of audio-visual shorts by artists from across the world.  Each work presented made use of ‘found’ material in a wide variety of imaginative ways.

The first of the live performances was given by writer Claudio Tapia and myself.  This included a live narration by the author of the novel The Hand of Yemanjá in combination with projected video, pre-recorded soundscape and improvised music.  Below are some photographs (taken by Isabelle Ensass) of the performance (click thumbnails to enlarge):



The second live performance was given by Pascal Battus.  Pascal plays rotating surfaces; these consist of small motorised components from inside old Walkmans or cassette players, which are used as exciters on different objects reacting as vibrators and resonators: sheets of paper, cardboards, plastic, wooden, metal, polystyrene pieces, and stems connected to cymbals.

Two screenings were shown in the bar area of The Belmont.  These were Pinder by Chris Dooks and Oz by Adam Cresser.

The images of Pinder were generously donated from the Pinder family – the Pinders were/are fairground travellers and were once a big part of day out at ‘the shows’ which toured the greens and spaces of towns over the last hundred years.  This work was originally commissioned for An Tobar Gallery, Mull and Market Gallery, Glasgow.

Adam Cresser’s Oz uses the film, originally entitled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which was created in 1910 by the Selig Polyscope Company, largely to fulfill Baum’s contractual obligation, and was made without any direct input from Baum himself.  This somewhat abbreviated version is thought to have been based on the 1902 stage musical adaptation of the novel,  however Baum’s script is, of course, absent in this silent work.  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was scored in 2012 by Adam Cresser (aka Rejectamenta) using a combination of modular analogue synthesisers and circuit bent instruments made from discarded children’s toys.

Following this was a performance of my piece Melancholia with Richard Craig on contrabass flute.  The video with pre-recorded music is here:

The first of the evening screenings was a selection from my Orphans series – which can be found here.  The second screening was a selection of audio-visual shorts which were submitted following a call for works.  The call required that all works use ‘found’ materials in some way and be no longer than 5 minutes.  Below are a selection of some of the pieces we screened, along with descriptions and links to the artists’ websites.

Stephen Horne and Garbhán Myles


An atmospheric, vaporous and emotional gaze at the devastation from a dust storm, witnessed by a helpless farmer and his children.  Footage taken from the 1936 documentary The Plow that Broke the Plains.

Stephen Horne is an Aberdeenshire amateur filmmaker whose work centres around romantic, effusive and often comedic storytelling.  Garbhán Myles is a Northern Irish musician, recording both luscious and ominous soundscape compositions.

Sam Spreckley

Fish Slice, Untitled 3 and The Comeback




Fish Slice centres on a small piece of found 8mm film.  By using a detailed soundtrack, the artist hoped to create a new, more immersive visual experience bringing more to life the images that we see.

Untitled 3 was created from both celluloid and digital video.  Once again the artist takes everyday occurrences and through the use of a detailed sound design, hopes to create a new sense of the world, a world which is perhaps more hypo-manic, where every movement has a unique sound.  The end result demonstrates not only the hidden rhythms in nature but also creates an almost humoristic interpretation of the world we live in.

Like Fish Slice, The Comeback is based around found imagery and a detailed soundtrack.  By creating an imagined soundtrack, the original silent film is transformed into a much more dynamic cinematic experience, detailing every movement of a lost memory.

Sam Spreckley is a Scottish artist based in the North-East of Scotland.  Spreckley works with the moving image and is focused on the relationships between sound and image.  The artist studied Time-Based Art and Electronic Imaging at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee.  He has exhibited both nationally and internationally – most recently in Nottingham as part of the World Event for Young Artists and also in Russia as part of the Now and After festival for video art.

Chris Dooks

Unfairground, Parts 1-3

The Unfairground series of mini-films is a microtrilogy of audiovisual works looking at the heritage and golden days of Scotland’s fairgrounds and travelling fairground families.

A former television director of documentaries including “The South Bank Show”, Chris Dooks is an artist, curator and doctoral researcher based in Ayr in the South-West of Scotland. He has worked for the BBC, ITV, PBS USA, as well as many European arts councils and organizations such as IDFA, STEIM and various institutes.

Dooks’ doctoral project is entitled “The Adaptive Prism – Emancipations for The Exhausted Artist” with the field-work being a suite of coloured vinyl records titled The Idioholism Series.

Alison Clifford and Graeme Truslove

Lux, Palimpsest and Substratum



“Interstitial Articulations” is a series of audiovisual works by artist Alison Clifford and composer Graeme Truslove, that explores the space between sound and image through collaboration. The series is based around reinterpretations of a number of photographic light paintings taken during a drive at night. The photographs were experiments – improvisations with long exposures, motion and gesture. The light-forms which resulted were chance occurrences, combining the momentary fleeting headlights of passing traffic and the movements of the photographer, resulting in a series of abstract,“interstitial” (in between) forms.

Considering these ethereal forms as “found” objects, the series imagines what it would be like to experience them in different contexts beyond the photographic image. How might they be reinterpreted and rewritten for another context? And how might audio be used to structure our visual experience of them?

Alison Clifford is an artist based in Glasgow. Her work is concerned with defining notions of the interstitial – or in-between – through digital art. She has exhibited widely in various international new-media and electronic art festivals and exhibitions, and has received several prestigious awards and commissions. These include a BAFTA nomination for interactive media, a commission from San Francisco Museum of Modern Art [online], and recent inclusion in the second edition of the Electronic Literature Collection.

Graeme Truslove (PhD) is a composer and performer based in Glasgow.  His output includes: electroacoustic and instrumental compositions, audio-visual installations and improvisation  His work is largely concerned with conflicts between intuitive performance and the fixed-medium, often exploring how fixed-medium expressive and structural possibilities can be integrated into improvised performance and vice versa.


Annie Clearkin

Lost and Found

A film exploring the relationship between the digital, family, memory and nostalgia.  By degrading and distorting nostalgic video, I hope to theorise how video images of family can never equate or appropriate memory; if memory is subjective and unattainable, can nostalgia still be experienced with the presence of loss or degradation?  All videos featured in the film were thought to be lost when switching computers a few years ago, yet they were found again, once revealed they were merely hiding in a maze of computer folders.

Laura Chenault

Golden ScreamsPi for Thanksgiving and Lessons in Misogyny 

Golden Screams is a found footage film that’s edited to the rhythm of the golden ratio. Exploring the theory of the vagina dentata and the male fear of being engulfed, this film combines shots of a woman pleasing herself with scream queens. All the footage in this film was downloaded from

Pi for Thanksgivingis edited to the rhythm of the mathematical function, Pi. The film highlights the disconnection that we have from our factory produced food.

Lessons in Misogyny is a short film featuring layered archival footage. Featured stereotypes include the crying woman, the happy wife and the romantic support. All the footage comes from vintage training and propaganda films.

Laura Chenault is an interdisciplinary artist creating art from a feminist and a post-modernist perspective. She creates both unique edition and short run artist books. Public art and site specific gallery installation allows her to work on large, temporary pieces.

In addition, Laura is a prolific filmmaker with a couple dozen finished short films. She is currently working on her first feature film, Path of the Forgotten, a feminist fairy tale set in an alternate reality that tells the story of a day in the life of a creation and destruction goddess as she builds and destroys the world.

Duncan Chapman

20 Years of Notebooks

I have a shelf that contains 20 years of my notebooks, they are full of sketches for pieces of music, lists of materials, sets of pitches, descriptions of  sounds , rough drawings of layouts, ideas for sound installations , scores  of  pieces and assorted random jottings that I make in the process of creating work. In an attempt to make some kind of sense of some of this and with a desire to revisit past working processes I have started to scan interesting pages and string them together into slideshows and movies. This is part documentary and part an exploration of almost forgotten fragments.

The soundtrack to this short film was made by playing contemporaneous recordings into a improvisatory software environment and the resulting sounds were further performed and edited to create a continuous piece.

Duncan Chapman:  freelance Composer, Sound Artist, Educator and Performer regularly works with many leading music organisations in Britain including The Philharmonia Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Royal Festival Hall, CBSO, BCMG, Wigmore Hall, Huddersfield Contemporary music festival, BBC and Sound & Music. Much of his work involves collaboration with other artists and often results in sound installations, CDs and multi-media performances. He was the curator of “Electric Loops” at the Love Music Festival (which toured to Shetland, The Outer Hebrides and mainland Scotland in 2010) and following a research trip to STEIM in Amsterdam is developing a series of pieces for accordion and “ghost” electronics. Other projects have included a piece for mass brass players on Aldeburgh beach and a project for the Huddersfield Contemporary music festival which explores the sounds (and taste!) that Rhubarb makes when it is forced in the dark!  Current projects include leading the Fanfare project for the orchestra of the Royal Opera House, a large orchestral piece for the London Mozart Players, a concert of new music in a 360º cinema on the beach at Weymouth for the Olympics and a participatory opera also at this year’s Sound Festival.

Celluloid Remix

Celluloid Remix is an online video remix contest organized by EYE, the film museum in Amsterdam.  The second edition of Celluloid Remix ran in the spring of 2012. EYE made forty-five film fragments from its unique Bits & Pieces collection available online. Participants in the contest were invited to create a remix using one or more of these clips. They were free to add their own material or other rights-free clips. Find the archival footage and all 75 entries online at For more information on EYE, see

Duncan Tullis, Untitled

Daniel Grapes, Aura

Claudio Tapia, Lydia, in Bits and Pieces


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