Hannah Sawtell

V-A-C launches its new Moscow headquarters with the Geometry of Now sound art project, Feb 20 – 27

20 February 2017

V-A-C is launching its future home at Moscow’s GES-2 with the Geometry of Now project, opening February 20 and running to February 27.

The V-A-C foundation is dedicated to the “international presentation, production and development of Russian contemporary art” and will be opening a new headquarters at the former power station. Built in 1907,  the building sits along the banks of the Moskva River, and will be revived and re-constructed to house new interventions by artists.

Geometry of Now will be a series of installations, workshops, lectures ad performances dedicated to sound-art to kick off the reconfiguration of the architectural space. Curated by Mark Fell, the ambitious project includes contributions by 75 artists, with installations by Florian Hecker, Theo Burt, Hannah Sawtell and Carl Michael Von Hausswolff among others. 

There will a series of performances, with Stephen O’Malley with Alexey Tegin, as well as an early and late evening program with sets by Equiknoxx, JlinInga CopelandLee Scratch Perry and Dubblestandart, among many others.

In addition to performance, there are also a number of exciting lectures, workshops and in-conversations, including the Modular synthesis workshop with Keith Fullerton Whitman and Jack Adams (aka Mumdance), the ‘Gender – Politics – Sound’ discussion with Georgina Born and Terre Thaemlitz, and moderated by Andrey Parshikov,  the ‘Novel Approaches for 3-D Sound Spatialisation’ workshop with Paul Modler and Markus Noisternig and ‘Approaches to Field Recording’ with Jana Winderen , Gleb Glonti, Katya Reshetnikova, and Christophe Charles moderated by Tony Myatt and more.

See the GES-2 website for the full programme and more details.**

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Jlin + Hannah Sawtell @ #Accumulator_Plus, Nov 10

7 November 2016

Jlin and Hannah Sawtell are performing London’s #ACCUMULATOR_PLUS radio show on November 10.

Commissioned by non-profit publishing house Book Works, prolific footwork producer Jlin — who released her first album Dark Energy in 2015 — and London-based artist Sawtell will perform live at 32 Ormside St. The event will also be broadcast online with the London’s NTS radio.

The project will be a launch for the ‘#ACCUMULATOR_PLUS’ issue of printed journal The Happy Hypocrite, guest edited by Sawtell, and will act as an aural transmission and a space for the artists to explore “notions of speed, progress, and relationships between local and global space.”  There will also be other sound samples by contributors of issue 9.

See the FB event page for details**

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Artist Self-Publishers’ Fair II @ ICA, Sep 10

9 September 2016

Artist Self-Publishers’ Fair II is taking place at London’s ICA on September 10.

Following on from the success of the inaugural Artist Self-Publishers’ Fair in 2015, this year brings over seventy UK and international independent artist self-publishers for the one-day fair. The second incarnation is bigger, features artist self-publishers only, and “continues to avoid the restrictions and market dominance of much contemporary arts culture”.

The publications are considered art works, however, affordable and available, with “the ideas, images and text produced and published by artists who understand the restrictions and freedoms of the printed page”.

Artists and publishers to look out for include Ami Clarke of Banner Repeater, Cesura//Acceso, Da Thirst, Dan Szor & Racheal Crowther, Ed Lehan & Lena Tutunjian, Hannah Sawtell, Laura Yuile, Owen Piper and more.

See the ASP website for details.**

Artist Self-Publishers' Fair II @ ICA, Sep 10


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Banner Repeater fundraiser party @ L’Entrepot, Dec 4

4 December 2015

Banner Repeater is hosting a fundraising lottery prize-pulling party at London’s L’Entrepot on December 4.

The lottery has been runs online here and here and at the train platform itself until December 4 and is being used to help fund some of the art space’s costs, including rent and running costs, new artworks, publications and commissions, on-going reading groups, and development of the Digital Archive of Artists’ Publishing: BookBlast.

The lottery tickets (priced at £5 each, while a membership of £30 comes with 7 free tickets) bring a chance to win various prints, publications and items from the Banner Repeater portfolio, including works by Hannah Sawtell, Jesse Darling, and Erica Scourti.

See the Banner Repeater website for details. **

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Some highlights from Space-Time festival

11 September 2014

Everyone shows up on a bus from London – all genteel with takeout coffees and good manners, though they say it’s a different story at midnight when the party bus leaves Wysing Space-Time Festival for the city. The sun’s out, which is perfect and fortunate, and the setting’s idyllic: a proper modern-architectural art space in the middle of the Cambridge countryside. The program starts on the dot of 12 and I miss the first band because I’m sitting on a grass verge squinting in the sun and eating plums that fell out of a tree. It’s surreal and beautiful, and the various sculptural artworks scattered around the wooded space add to the sense of otherworldliness: a good level. People seem in the mood to get receptive – cider before lunch and avant-garde art feelings.

I make it on time for Ravioli Me Away, whose theatrical costumes, post-ironic 3D estate agent porn and smoke machine camp make me think I’m in for some knowingly artsy music hall moment until they start playing. They’re hard. And tight. And funny, and angry – though I can’t hear the lyrics very well, but what I make out sounds like pissed-off parafeminism with a dose of fuckit-whatever. Smashing out a hard beat on the tom and snare, Sian Dorrer – dressed in a silver hentai jumpsuit – can really sing, and does, all while holding down the rhythm with such a fierce energy it’s impossible to stay unmoved. Alice Theobald, a performance artist in her own right, is on the keyboard synth and second vocal, sardonically intoning half-spoken ripostes that provide a sort of affective texture to the narrative of the beat. Rosie Ridgway smacks out throbbing basslines like a frenetic punctuation of glottal stops, simultaneously soft and hard and round at the edges. Dance? I nearly died.

Ravioli Me Away at Space-Time Festival (2014). Photo by Mike Cameron. Courtesy Wysing Arts Centre.
Ravioli Me Away at Space-Time Festival (2014). Photo by Mike Cameron. Courtesy Wysing Arts Centre.

The day is blurred in places and the program was more or less constant, even relentless; if you wanted you could spend the whole day immersed in music of various kinds, but I didn’t have the stamina. There was Yola Fatoush – ostensibly an electroclash band of the post-punk persuasion, but perhaps also an alter-ego or some kind of performance art hologram? I’m confused by the Ken Burns effect photo experience playing in the background, which looks like a pretty white girl running around some late-summer idyll in a nightie thing and you can see her bum. Two people on stage walk around in printed t-shirts and one of them sings in a mic. It was okay.

Lucy Railton sat alone in a colored spotlight with a cello and some kind of mixing device while the audience, who started out standing, sank literally to their knees, one by one. A low bow across a single note and the sound was starkly eloquent; it seemed to go on and on. One didn’t watch this performance so much as feel it; there were many closed eyes and bowed heads in the room, among them, eventually, mine. The silence in between, a sound like thunder.

Lucy Railton at Space-Time Festival (2014). Photo by Mike Cameron. Courtesy Wysing Arts Centre.
Lucy Railton at Space-Time Festival (2014). Photo by Mike Cameron. Courtesy Wysing Arts Centre.

Elsewhere, in an art work reimagined as a tiny wooden theatre in the round, Sue Tompkins, best known for her stint in Life Without Buildings but now an artist working mainly in textual forms, performed a set-length poem, if poem is the right word. Her words were so juicy in her mouth that we all ate them up, kids in the front row and all, as she jumped around the stage like a child. It was an extraordinary performance, verging on the mediumistic – utterly affected and entirely authentic at once, like a religious rite.

Later on, Hannah Sawtell’s performance was an immersive and disorientating experience. Lit only by a powerful strobe light, she filled the room with dark synths and distorted drum hits, layering harsh waveforms to staggering effect. At times it was a dense attack on the senses, the sharp highs cutting through the rolling bass sequences. The modulators seemed to be running at multiples of the tempo of the strobe, making the performance encompassing and physical. As it ended after a brutal 30 minutes, one staff member muttered “thank fuck”. Long after the performance I was still mentally emerging from the experience – the outside world seemed to move with more fluidity, and to be a little quieter.

Nik Colk Void at Space-Time Festival (2014). Photo by Mike Cameron. Courtesy Wysing Arts Centre.
Nik Colk Void at Space-Time Festival (2014). Photo by Mike Cameron. Courtesy Wysing Arts Centre.

Later still, there was Nik Colk Void, who has been making noise in different forms for a while now (certain nerds might remember her from KaitO), but is possibly best known for being one third of Factory Floor. For the past few years she’s also been working with Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti of Throbbing Gristle to form Carter Tutti Void, as well as putting out solo releases. Her type of electronic industrialism, infiltrated by techno and ambient, set the evening’s dancers into motion. It was a hard driving set, minimal and effective, punctuated by moments of thundering noise. In front of a degraded video loop of an electric guitar she played her own, bowing the thing to add texture to an already robust sound. Some of the noise textures felt physically painful so close to the speaker. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I left before the night bus, and before Holly Herndon, whose cerebral, sensual soundscapes I was sad to miss. An all-female lineup in a festival subtitled The Future feels like a bold and necessary move right now, and the whole day was infused with this spirit of engagement and experimentation, subverting the hedonic festival spirit in all the right ways. **

Space-time: The Future was on at Wysing Arts Centre as part of its annual music festival on August 30, 2014.

Header image: Yola Fatoush at Space-Time Festival (2014). Photo by Mike Cameron. Courtesy Wysing Arts Centre.

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Lunch Bytes London #2 @ ICA, May 17

14 May 2014

Lunch Bytes is hosting a second London event for its European edition discussion series, Structures and Textures: Digital Infrastructures and the Organisation of Space at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) on May 17, 2pm-4pm.

Following up on the recent Medium: Format at the space in March, Professors Wendy Chun and Boris Groys, as well as London-based artists Paul Kneale and Hannah Sawtell will examine how the invisible infrastructures of the digital world “compose and condition the platforms, devices and applications we use daily”, modifying our perception and engagement with information. 

Others earlier topics across Europe included Medium: Photography in Amsterdam and Structure and Textures: Data in Dublin.

See the Lunch Bytes event page for details. **

Header image: From monet’s garden, zuckerberg’s firewall by Paul Kneale. Image courtesy ANDOR Gallery. 

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Hannah Sawtell @ New Museum, Apr 23 – Jun 22

9 April 2014

From April 23 to June 22, UK artist Hannah Sawtell will enjoy her first solo museum presentation, “Accumulator”, in the Lobby Gallery of NYC’s The New Museum.

The multimedia artist—often working through installation, video, print, sound, as well as performance—explores the relationship between the surfaces of objects and images and their multifaceted underlying structures. As The New Museum describes the artist as “render[ing] the fluidity of digital images with spatial, physical, and temporal qualities, and critically point[ing] to their function as decoy indicators for larger and dominating systems of production, access, surplus, and consumption”. The vaguely industrial aesthetic of Sawtell’s work is a further allusion to the repetitive systems of production, and the artist’s previous work as a DJ and part of Detroit’s Plant E Label lends to her art the grating and dynamic rhythm and noise that bolsters her video work and performances.

For her New Museum showcase, Sawtell will present a new sculptural installation and sound work as well as a subsequent edition of her “Broadsheets” publication series. To read more about the event, visit The New Museum’s event page, and for specific event details such as location and timing, visit the aqnb event listing.**

"Osculator" (2012), installation view. Image courtesy ICA.
“Osculator” (2012), installation view. Image courtesy ICA.


Header image: “Vendor” (2012), installation view. Image courtesy Bloomberg Space.

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Shimmering World Conference submissions close Jan 7

19 December 2013

There’s been much talk around aesthetics and the slick image in art lately and speaking out for the ‘pro’ camp will be the Shimmering World: gloss, sheen and the politics of production values in contemporary culture conference in Manchester on April 25, 2014.

The venue is still yet to be announced but confirmed speakers include Ed Atkins, David Panos, Hannah Sawtell and Tamara Trodd. In the meantime, organisers Paul Clinton and Luke Healey are calling for papers exploring the possibilities of “highly polished modes of production”. Carrying on from Jan Verwoert’s claim of “the dead elegance of the cibachrome print”, they’re welcoming abstracts on the subject, with and from the position of the art object, until close of submissions, January 7.

See the Shimmering World website for details. **

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‘RE PETITIONER’ reading @ Banner Repeater, Dec 20

17 December 2013

There’ll be a reading of Hannah Sawtell-led project and publication, RE PETITIONER, at at Banner Repeater, December 20.

In response to the rising pressures of realtime and rapid turnarounds, Sawtell’s itinerant Foundling Court imprint published The ‘RE PETITIONER’ Broadsheet Number 4, co-designed by the Morning Star’s Michal Boncza. It’s a four page tabloid-style paper featuring texts by the likes of Rachal Bradley, John Russell, Robert Garnett and Empty Set‘s Paul Purgas, across titles like ‘Sediment and Seduction’ and ‘The Capitalisation of Death’. Invited readers include artist Alan Michael and No Bra founding member Paul Clinton.

See the Banner Repeater website for details. **

Header image: Bluelou

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