Benthic Caress

Benthic Caress

One-off sonic art silent disco for 100 people at the tidal pool, Devils Point for Plymouth Art Weekender, to promote care for marine life

We did it!

On 23rd Sep 2017 we successfully raised £1,045 of £1,000 target with 52 supporters in 42 days

Thankyou to everyone that made Benthic Caress, the silent disco in the sea, a success!

Thankyou to everyone who has supported the project. Thankyou to the artists, the funders and supporters, Plymouth City Council, Plymouth Art Weekender and to the audience/participants. We were blessed with glorious sunshine, and the feedback was fantastic.

Chris Watson has provided 10 minutes of sound captured in the thriving corals of the South China Seas, Leah Barclay has provided 10 minutes of sounds selected from her work with the Biosphere Soundscapes, an interdisciplinary research project working in collaboration with multiple organisations and institutions across the USA, South America, Australia, Europe, India, Indonesia and Cambodia. Jez Riley French has provided 10 minutes of sound taken from a recording in Iceland of minerals from the sea bed dissolving in a solution that relates to the corrosive levels of pollution at that location. Further information about these artists can be found if you scroll down.

Alongside these exquisite sounds, you will hear soundfs from Eype beach, Dorset, Dungeness Tower Shoreline, Terns feeding on the turning tide at sunset on a remote South Devon beach, sounds from a small fishing village in Cornwall,  a meditation on Dwr (Welsh for ‘water’) , fun at Gyllyngvase Beach, a trawler fleet protesting in Plymouth Sound against fishing restrictions, and marine life in a rock pool near Devil’s Point. Last, but not least, a very special edition of Wildlife Discotheque, who often work with museums and other cultural institutions sharing their vinyl wildlife recordings. These recordings have been gathered over many years from the overgrown, neglected and wilder corners of local charity shops, record fairs, and car boot sales. The discs plot a crackly history of nature sound and the pioneers who spent hours in the field with cumbersome gear and an ear for sound and song. Their mix of historical field recordings and vintage natural history documentaries has been distilled into 10 minutes of surprise and wonder. More about all of the artists who took part can be found here

With the kind support of Take A Part, Devon-based artist Laura Denning, produced a spectacular sonic experience for Plymouth Art Weekender 2017.  The wonderful tidal pool at Devils Point was the venue for a a silent disco with a difference.  

Who are the artists? With contributions from internationally acclaimed sonic artists Chris Watson, Leah Barclay and Jez Riley French., as well selected sounds by Rachael Allain,  Moore & Parker, Lee Berwick, Ivon Oates, Andrea Wright,  and David Rogers.

Chris Watson is one of the world's leading recorders of wildlife and natural phenomena, and for Touch he edits his field recordings into a filmic narrative. For example. the unearthly groaning of ice in an Icelandic glacier is a classic example of, in Watson's words, putting a microphone where you can't put your ears. He was born in Sheffield where he attended Rowlinson School and Stannington College (now part of Sheffield College). In 1971 he was a founding member of the influential Sheffield-based experimental music group Cabaret Voltaire. His sound recording career began in 1981 when he joined Tyne Tees Television. Since then he has developed a particular and passionate interest in recording the wildlife sounds of animals, habitats and atmospheres from around the world. As a freelance recordist for film, tv & radio, Chris Watson specialises in natural history and documentary location sound together with track assembly and sound design in post production.

Leah Barclay’s work  has been commissioned, performed and exhibited to wide acclaim across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Peru, Colombia, Europe, India, South Africa, China and Korea by organisations including UNESCOEar to the EarthStreaming Museum, Al Gore’s Climate Reality and the IUCN.

Jez Riley French‘s commissions and performances have included Tate Modern, The Whitworth, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (Japan), Artisphere (USA), Harpa (Iceland), Mengi (Iceland), The Wired Lab (Australia), Mullae Art Space (Korea) A section of his piece for Tate Modern was also chosen to be part of the ‘500 years of British Art’ series at Tate Britain.  Here's a little taster:

More sound artists will be announced soon – check the website Benthic Caress

Take A Part makes art in the public interest in Plymouth. We are a socially engaged contemporary art organisation that works with communities to co-commission and co-create contemporary art in order to: risk-take, provoke and engage communities to establish and respond to local agenda and need.  With Benthic Caress we are co-creating with artist Laura Denning to stage a unique participatory event that draws attention to environmental concerns.

Laura Denning is a transdisciplinary artist who often uses sound, and moving image, but not just. She often (but not always!) considers curation to be a form of art practice also. For last years’ Plymouth Art Weekender she presented a Live Art Performance in which wild swimmers dived off The Hoe and interacted with the underwater webcam in Plymouth Sound, the footage being relayed live to the Big Screen in the City Centre. All her work focuses on water, and aims to draw attention to the natural world as a way of making the anticipated impacts of  global warming  sufficiently imaginable so that we all Take A Part in making a positive difference.


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