Virgin40 exhibition projections


Recently I’ve been working with my good friend and fellow Film Soup-er Chris Paul Daniels on some new projection works for the Virgin Record 40 exhibition, using media from the Virgin archives. Chris developed a 45 minute film presented as a large triptych, juxtaposing different eras and styles from across the archives, along with a cut-up soundtrack by Kelvin Brown. I created three dynamic mapping installations within the tiled alcoves nearby, and a separate piece using lyrics from 10 diverse songs to form a generative cut-up poem. As usual, bth of my works were created in Isadora. The tile mapping piece being a development of the Interlace installation from last October, but extremely scaled up.

final note – always, always use a remote login service like logmein incase something needs tweaking post-install, which it invariably will.

A brief outline on my contributions below:



Imitate /  interchange / interlace – 2013
database video mapping installation by Sam Meech
Video using Archive footage courtesy of Virgin Records and the British Broadcasting Corporation

Again, these pieces use a structure and a set of content and then allow chance to create the final evolving composition.  I really liked the tiled alcoves in the space and wanted to create a projection that felt like it was made for the space, so the 3 pieces are all carefully mapped to the tiles. The images change as individual tiles are masked, sometimes obscuring the videos, so you sometimes have to work to decipher what it is you’re looking at, but there are some nice clips in there, from live performances to some extremely expressive and colourful experimental music videos. The installations were created using an interactive video tool called Isadora which allows you to treat the media as a database rather than a timeline. It creates a dynamic visual collage – its great to see what it throws up.

Don’t dictate, Dictate to me – 2013
I was interested in foregrounding lyrics and playing with the form of the song – text is something that might not come across so directly in a visual-heavy show, but contains much of the attitude behind the artists and the catalogue. This piece simply selects lines at random from 10 diverse songs / artists (from Janet Jackson and Phil Collins to Peter Tosh and Penetration), to create an evolving 8 line verse. Beyond the songs and the 8 line structure there is no authorship from me, with chance dictating the outcome, leaving room for repetition, nonsense and the occasional powerful (or surreal) image. The favourite couplet that I’ve seen is “Lots of naked germans / Temptation” (mixing Faust / Heaven 17).


The list of lyrics within the database:


Penetration – Dont Dictate
OMD – Enola Gay
Faust – Giggy Smile
Phil Collins  – In  the air tonight
Emily Sande – Read all about it
Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer
Heaven 17 – Temptation
Janet Jackson – That’s The Way Love Goes
Bastille – The things we left in the fire
Peter Tosh – Legalize It

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