Here Comes Everybody is a mass adventure using digital technology where four legs are good, two wheels are better and everyone is home by teatime. James Joyce meets Enid Blyton via Philip K Dick as Close and Remote journeyed down the River Pool in Lewisham, capturing aural and optical data via mass observation events to producing smart propaganda for this area of outstanding urban beauty.
During the summer of 2013, we staged a series of public events at River Pool Linear Park, introducing the idea of User Generated Surveillance using spy cameras, remote control helicopters, hidden microphones, mini-frigates and bicycles to explore and record the surroundings from multiple points of view.
Here Comes Everybody developed into an app for iPhone and Android and uses GPS to locate a new narrative down the River Pool. Starting at the the Lower Sydenham end of the walk on Southend Lane, the listener encounters a series of 12 chapters, in the form of an intimate narrative, reflecting on personal freedom in the age of social media. The two central characters, HCE and ALP are drawn from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, each walking along the river towards their own destinies.
We have worked with artist Peter Cusack to record sounds of the River Pool creating a serendipitous new work. The narration is by Shereen Elizabeth and Cormac Faulkner.
An accompanying installation has been devised at the end of the walk at the bridge where the rivers Ravensbourne and Pool meet.
Here Comes Everybody is a Close and Remote project commissioned by Up Projects as part of their Secret Garden Project Lewisham programme working in partnership with Lewisham Council and supported by Arts Council England.
We make history obvious.
Close and Remote are Sophie Mellor and
Simon Poulter, based in Plymouth.
We have an ongoing practice that responds to history as a dynamic form of representation. We like to work with the everyday, marginal or peripheral as starting points, making artworks that are formed from observations of public places and events. In our recent work we are dealing with the emerging issue of the exponential growth of data, the process of archiving and the idea of landscape as database. Recently we have worked in a number of locations where the history of a place has been played back into itself. Working with small groups of people, historical information is reprocessed, such as with ZONE and Lost Characters.
Close and Remote work with an informal set of understandings that inform our practice and process:
• The obvious is always present
• The edge of a situation has value
• There is no such thing as content
• Lifestyles are not defined only by technologies
• Uncertainty is preferable over innovation
• Aesthetics contain cultural currency and agency
Recent interests include Andrei Tarkovsky’s film ‘Stalker’, HMS Hood, Frank Hampson, Althea and Donna, Birkenhead North and Bidston Moss, Giambattista Vico and Trafalgar Square.