A live performance and sound piece from artist Toby Christian, reimagining the scroll – at once a document, a record, a spool – through domestic archival apparatus and props. Taking Abigail Reynold’s current exhibition The Universal Now and further episodes as its starting point, Christian extends Reynold’s passion for and exploration of books as material with his own scrolling, archiving and mark-making. Christian uses laminating machines, projectors and cut-out figures to animate drawn and string characters.
A laminating machine is adapted so that its roll of ersatz-celluloid is driven over the lens of an overhead projector. The effect is the creation of a slow-moving animated procession of frozen string figures, secluded in their plastic pouches. The forms are carefully arranged by the artist to explore the figurative, linguistic and political registers of cotton string; some of the oldest recorded storytelling devices in human history.
The scrolling animations are accompanied by an immersive soundtrack, mixed live by Christian. Contact microphones attached to the equipment will amplify and alter the slow humming of the motor, as well as the masticating, grinding noises of the crackling plastic as it repeatedly passes through the rollers of the laminator.
Toby Christian lives and works in Glasgow. His books Collar (2017) and Measures (2013) are published by Koenig Books, London. “Collar”, the second book of writing by Toby Christian, extends his attraction to the description of objects in fine detail, where focus is accented by an amplified magnification of surface and substance. Recent solo exhibitions include Pedestrian Confetti, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, Leeds (2015); Some Sky, Vigo Gallery, London (2015); A Bunch of Keys, NAM project, Milan (2015); The Plastically Parroting, Intermedia, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2014) and The Tread and the Rise, Baró Galeria, São Paulo (2013)