When artist and curator Mat Jenner describes the distribution and viewing of art online as a “loss of the body, in some ways,” his choice of words has a particular resonance in the space of Stoke Newington’s Project/Number. In the presence of his Foam exhibition, after all, the body (both yours and the body of work that makes up the dubplate archive at the room’s centre) is crucial. It’s dependent on participants entering the space, picking out a record and playing it; it’s entirely grounded in physicality.
The records in the archive include contributions from artists as varied as Hannah Black, Yuri Pattison and Christopher Kulendran Thomas & Amnesia Scanner, and range from experimental soundscapes and heavy metal, to spoken word poetry and a Drake cover. In practice, this endows the recordings with an unpredictability and tension that makes them the volatile epicentre of the otherwise sparse room. Jenner talks of them as “colouring” the space; each person who walks into the gallery and plucks out a record has the potential to drastically alter their surroundings.
This Friday, July 4, Foam opens at Hackney’s AND/OR gallery, where you can see (and hear) it until August 2. Watch our interview with Mat Jenner for more on the unpredictability of the Foam experience, the process behind the artists selected to contribute, the use of records (and of the space itself) as form and the re-gaining of art’s lost body. **