Radio Broadcast and Gig from the Curfew Tower, 7 August 2013, featuring:
Dan Simpkins/Penny Whitehead
The Curfew Tower 2012
The idea for the 2012 Curfew Tower residency programme was to invite a range of disciplines (artists, architects, musicians, academics, curators, writers etc) who stayed from 1 day – 3 weeks (as in our experience a lot of invited residents couldn’t commit to over 1-2 weeks so this offered the possibility of short burst high intensity visits). We asked the residents to make a ‘field recording’ on a Tascam Multi-Track Cassette Recorder. Accompanying each recorder was a User Manual. The recordings on tape were collected between each residency as each participant put the recording in a stamped self addressed envelope and sent to Static guaranteed delivery. Static then edited the tapes in 2013 and produced the Curfew Tower record. The recording of a record (or cassette tape) of course also referenced Drummond’s own music industry history as well as providing a deliver mechanism for the ideas of the invited residents.
On the 2nd August 2013 Static will put 100 copies of the record all with original cover artworks (50 signed, 50 unsigned) on an e-bay auction sale. This will be exactly 5 days before the ONLY ever live broadcast of the piece (in its raw state) which will be transmitted from the tower as a radio broadcast. At the exact time the e-bay auction finishes the live radio broadcast will begin. This will be the time that the normal prize giving event happens as part of the Festival of The Glenn’s in August 2013. This element of the project examines the relative fame/celebrity of the recording artists as the records are bought without ever being listened to. The usual temporary radio licence in the UK has an 8 mile radius. As the tower is near the coast some of this radius will be in the water. To listen to the live event you will need to be in the radius thus the project investigates invisible geometries and the movement of people from the outlying towns and cities who may make their way to within the radius to listen. It will also examine who controls the radio waves in Northern Ireland.
Also, on the 7th August 2013, the participants of the 2012 Curfew Tower will return to Cushendall to perform their recorded tracks as part of a 1 day gig that will take place on a stage in the garden of the Curfew Tower. We will also sell a further 100 copies of the record during the gig.
Another element of the project is to do with finance/economy.
As there was no real budget for visiting residencies we could only provide people with their accommodation at the Tower.
There was also no real budget for Static Gallery to run the project, so some alternative economies had to develop. The plan therefore was to ask all participants to fill in a basic time-sheet which charted their time and put a numerical figure against this time, how much per hour. This was an examination of not just time/labour (immaterial labour) but also how each resident valued their time. Just before the e-bay auction in August 2013, we will know exactly how much we are in labour deficit by adding up all the residents hours. When we know this figure we will know exactly how much we need to charge on e-bay to break even. However, if the labour cost is too high, we will have to make a decision on whether to try and make the break-even (thus imposing a minimum auction price) or leaving it to the logic of the free market auction place. In this way the value of the record is in the eye of the purchaser, as they consider the ideas of the physical artefact, celebrity, the signature etc. Thus the actual price paid, the real economic yield (the market value) which is beautifully demonstrated via eBay would offer a reflective moment of how the public relates to the artists valuation of their time.
If for some reason we go beyond break-even, there will then be the division of profit to each resident which will itself be an interesting process given that the relative celebrity or hourly rate of the residents will fluctuate……
To conclude, the first act of the 2012 residency was for Static to go to the Curfew Tower in January 2012 and to archive and then incarcerate all of the existing artworks that have built up over the last 13 years. They were locked in the former curfew room on the ground floor. The idea to clear the space came after a site visit in November 2011 in which it became obvious that the history of the previous residencies is visible in every area of the building.