Over 3 months, the Art Assassins collaborated with Shamica Ruddock, SLG Postgraduate Artist in Residence 2021/22, to explore the idea of a ‘time capsule’.
Using Shamica’s exhibition Deciphering a Broken Syntax as inspiration, the Art Assassins investigated how sound making processes can be a tool for documenting our present moment, and also be used to imagine new futures and worlds. Working with graphic musical scores, free writing, and field recording, the group experimented with creative ways of capturing ‘now’, and sought solutions to the challenge of communicating their message with unknown audiences of the future.
The result of their shared exploration are two new sound pieces, collectively titled Multichronosphere. Listeners to Multichronosphere encounter field recordings, sound effects and voices which emerge and retreat, hinting at different narratives, times, and places. At other moments, fragments of dialogue are audible. A voice repeating “on another timeline” suggests science fiction futures, whilst “probably a barista” hints at a more mundane reality, as imagined by a young person.
Each track was recorded as a live improvised performance by the Art Assassins at South London Gallery. Working with no written score, just a 10-min time limit, the group used Ableton Live software and MIDI controllers to trigger and manipulate audio samples, creating a piece energised by chance and serendipity.
Multichronosphere is now its own time capsule, taking form as a limited run of 50 purple cassette tapes. Rather than being a single unique artefact buried in the ground, Multichronosphere is distributed across the Art Assassins members’ network, and is intended to be rediscovered at an unspecified future time. Others are invited to be custodians of this time capsule, with a small number of cassettes available to buy at the South London Gallery bookshop.
Shamica Ruddock, is a research responsive artist concerned with African-Caribbean masquerade and folk storytelling practices, orality, African-centred time-space cosmologies, sound culture, hauntology, Black technopoetics and technosonic production. Sonic strategising and speculative world building have also functioned as important points of departure.
Shamica has exhibited work at the South London Gallery, Treasure Hill Artist Village, Taiwan, and as part of Margate NOW Festival. She was a 21/22 FLAMIN Fellow, and is currently undertaking a visiting research fellowship with the British Library’s Eccles Centre.