Eileen Simpson and Ben White: Open Music Archive

14 June 2019 — 18 August 2019

Castlefield Gallery is pleased to present the first UK survey show of work by Eileen Simpson and Ben White, exhibiting a selection of their projects from the last ten years that explore the performative potential of the archive.

With a focus on the voice, this exhibition includes sound recordings taken from the genesis of the music industry in 1920s Atlanta, a lost feature film from 1950s Jordan, and samples ripped from 1960s UK chart hit records. The artists have collaborated with a range of people, using these rich archival materials, to produce an open source body of audio-visual artwork.

Working at the intersection of art, music and information networks, Simpson and White generate public resources. They are the founders of Open Music Archive (WWW.OPENMUSICARCHIVE.ORG) which sources, digitises and distributes out-of-copyright recordings. It is a site of exchange, and a vehicle for future collaboration. Their practice incorporates alternative peer-to-peer models, challenging default mechanisms for the authorship, ownership and distribution of art.

The exhibition coincides with the launch of Everything I Have Is Yours, an ambitious film and sound work by Eileen Simpson and Ben White (Open Music Archive) that looks back to the first decade of the UK pop charts (1952-62) commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, the Contemporary Art Society, University of Salford Art Collection and Castlefield Gallery and presented at Salford Museum and Art Gallery from 4 July – 3 November 2019.


Image: Eileen Simpson and Ben White, Auditory Learning, 2016. Installation view: British Art Show 8, 2015-17, Bargate Monument, Southampton. (cc) by-sa 4.0. Image courtesy the artists     


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