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LETS PLAY RECORDS!

...ADVENTUREs IN VINYL. BRUCE DAVIES 2008/2010


Š 2011 Bruce Davies. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author. Photo credits : Newlyn Art Gallery pages 90-95 / 272-279


IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS..............VINYL! AS A LAPSED/SPORADIC COLLECTOR THE IMPORTANCE OF THE COLLECTION THAT I HAD BUILT UP FROM THE AGE OF ABOUT 10 TEN HAS NOT LESSENED IN ITS CULTURAL VALUE – HEY! AND IT MIGHT HAVE EVEN GONE UP IN CASH VALUR TOO! THANK YOU UK SUBS FOR ALL THE COLOURED VINYL YOU GAVE US – ESPECIALLY THE BROWN ONE! THE FIRST RECORD THAT I COULD ACTUALLY CALL MINE (1976) WAS THE ‘WOMBLES GREATEST HITS’ [FUN] AND JEAN MICHEL JARRES’ ‘OXYGENE’ [INTERESTING] AND TCHAIKOVSKY’S 1812 OVERTURE’ [LIKED THE CANONS] GIVEN TO ME ON MY 10TH BIRTHDAY. 1 YEAR LATER AFTER A BRIEF FORAY INTO PROG-ROCK INFLUENCED BY BIG BROTHER IT WAS LATER REJECTED FOR PUNK AND NEW WAVE. (Hurrrah!) I REMEMBER VIVIDLY THE ARGUMENTS ABOUT WHOSE TURN IT WAS TO CHOOSE THE RADIO STATION WE WOULD LISTEN TOO WHEN ME AND MY BROTHERS WERE IN OUR BEDROOM AT NIGHT. IT WAS A TOSS UP BETWEEN THE ‘ROCK SHOW’ ON MANCHESTER PICCADILLY RADIO AND JOHN PEEL ON RADIO ONE. THE FIRST TIME I HEARD THE SEX PISTOLS ‘HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN’ [SHORTLY BEFORE WE DISCOVERED JOHN PEEL] WAS ON THE ROCK SHOW. THE DJ LAUGHINGLY [HE WAS ACTUALLY LAUGHING] INTRODUCED IT AS UTTER RUBBISH BY A BAND THAT COULDN’T PLAY. IT WAS LIKE NOTHING I HAD HEARD BEFORE - BOTH DISTURBING AND ALLURING. AFTER THAT THERE WAS NO TURNING BACK. MY BRAVE NEW WORLD HAD SUDDENLY BECOME CIRCULAR, MADE OF PLASTIC AND CAME IN A VARIETY OF SIZES. A PLACE WHERE THE EASY LISTENING HAD BEEN REPLACED BY PROTEST SONGS THAT WENT AT A VARIETY OF [FAST, FASTER OR FURIOUS] SPEEDS AND HAD A HOLE IN THE MIDDLE. MUSIC AND THE RECORD COLLECTING HABIT BECAME THE PIVOTAL ACTIVITY THAT ALL THE MAJOR EVENTS OF MY TEENAGE LIFE AND EARLY 20’S REVOLVED AROUND UNTIL I SUFFERED A SEVERE HEARING LOSS AT A CHUMBAWAMBA GIG IN MANCHESTER 1987. AS A VISUAL ARTIST I HAVE LONG RECOGNISED VINYL’S INFLUENCE ON MY EARLY CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT - FROM THE MUSIC, TO THE ART WORK, TO THE SITUATIONS THAT DEVELOPED AROUND ITS USE. WHEN I LOOK BACK NOW AT MY COLLECTING IT’S OBVIOUS THAT RECORDS, MUSIC AND THE ARTWORK INFLUENCED ME LOADS AND HELPED MAKE SENSE OF A WORLD I DIDN’T IDENTITY WITH. FROM COMICS TO LP COVERS TO DADA TO POP ART ETC ETC- VINYL HELPED LAY THE TRAIL TO WHERE I AM TODAY. IN A KIND OF CELEBRATION OF ALL THINGS VINYL, I BEGAN TO EXPLORE MORE PURPOSEFULLY THE VINYL SOCIAL SCENE THAT INSPIRED ME TO DEVELOP IT AS HUB FOR CREATIVITY.

LET’S PLAY RECORDS!

- A LANGUAGE WE CAN ALL UNDERSTAND (EVEN IF WE DON’T KNOW WHAT

THEY’RE SAYING).

I SET OUT TO CREATE A NEW PERFORMATIVE WORK IN COLLABORATION WITH OTHER ENTHUSIASTS AND A WILLING AUDIENCE WHO WOULD CO-DIRECT THE PROJECTS OUTCOME. THIS OFFERED ME SPACE AND TIME TO RECONSIDER PLAY AS TOOL FOR MY PRACTICE, DEVELOP PROTOTYPE IDEAS AND WORK WITH THE UNRESOLVED IN SITU WITHOUT THE CONSTRAINTS OF PRESENTING A FINALISED EXHIBITION. AS A CURATOR I WANTED TO CREATE A MULTIPLE OF OPPORTUNITIES THAT ADDRESSED ACCESSIBILITY AND IDEAS OF AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT THROUGH PLATFORM SHARING. THE PRESENTATION OF ‘LPR!’ WAS MODELLED ON THE PLACES I HAVE USED OR LIVED IN - INDEPENDENT RECORD SHOPS, MY TEENAGE BEDROOM, PREVIOUS SQUATS FOR EXAMPLE. THE REFERENCE TO THESE ENVIRONMENTS AND THE ADAPTATION OF THE GALLERY SPACE GREW ORGANICALLY AND CREATIVELY OUT OF RITUALISTIC RECORD PLAYING AND WERE FURTHER INFLUENCED BY CONVERSATIONS AND ACTIVITY WITH OTHER COLLECTORS AND ENTHUSIASTS DIRECTLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE ‘LPR!’ EXPERIENCE. ‘LPR!’- INCLUDED IMPROMPTU/ORCHESTRATED EVENTS, FILMS, PROJECTIONS, PRESENTATIONS, PHOTOMONTAGE, DRAWING, COLLAGE AND PERFORMANCE, INFORMAL INTERVIEWS AND DISCUSSIONS ALL OF WHICH CAME OUT OF PLAYING RECORDS. THE WHOLE CURATORIAL PROCESS WAS AS A PERFORMATIVE EVENT. THE PLANNING, MEETING AND INTERVIEWING OF COLLECTORS AND ENTHUSIASTS, CURATING DISCONTINUED COLLECTIONS ETC, AND PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER AT NEWLYN WERE ALL PART OF THAT PROCESS. THE MAIN FOCUS OF THE SHOW WAS A ROLLING PROGRAMME OF DISPLAYS OF RECORDS CURATED FROM A VARIETY OF PERSONAL COLLECTIONS. THESE WERE BROUGHT INTO AND PLAYED DURING ‘COLLECTA-SELECTA!’ AND WERE PLACED IN A RACK ON VIEW AS LONG AS THE COLLECTOR WAS IN SESSION. DURING THE SESSION THEY WOULD RETRIEVE RECORDS FROM THE RACK AND PLAY THEM WHILST WE TALKED OR I WORKED ON LARGE SCALE DRAWINGS OF IMAGES TAKEN FROM ALBUM COVERS. THE COLLECTOR WAS IN COMPLETE CONTROL AND RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT WENT ON DISPLAY, SHARING THE ROLE OF CURATOR. THE COLLECTORS INCLUDED A TEDDY BEAR REPAIRER, HAIRDRESSER, ARTISTS, MENTAL HEALTH WORKER, YOUNG ADULTS, STUDENTS, YOUNG CHILDREN, MUSIC PROMOTER, DJ’S, TEACHERS, ARCHAEOLOGIST, OAP’S MECHANIC, MUSICIANS, LIBRARIAN AND DROP IN ENTHUSIASTS. ‘THE BOOK OF LISTS’ BECAME THE ARCHIVE OF SUBMITTED CATALOGUES DETAILING THE CONTENTS OF COLLECTIONS FROM ALL TYPES OF GENRES AND ALL TYPES OF COLLECTOR BOTH NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL. AS WELL AS THE RECORDS PEOPLE HAVE AND DO COLLECT, I WAS ALSO INTERESTED IN WHAT PEOPLE HAVE GIVEN UP COLLECTING. DURING THE 2 MONTHS OF PLANNING I BUILT UP A SELECTION OF DISCONTINUED COLLECTIONS FROM THE DISPOSSESSED. THIS WAS ACCOMPANIED BY ‘THE BOOK OF LISTS 2: EBAY KILLED THE SECOND HAND RECORD SHOP’. A FILM COVERING THE TECHNICAL BACKGROUND ON THE PROCESS OF RECORD PRODUCTION FILMED AT THE FAMOUS EMI RECORD FACTORY, HAYES MIDDLESEX - NOW PORTAL SPACE RECORDS - WAS SHOWN DAILY. A NUMBER OF ARTISTS WORK WAS SHOWN THROUGHOUT THE EXHIBITION. THESE INCLUDED PHOTOGRAPHS OF DUCHAMP’S ROTO-RELIEFS, A FILM AND PHOTOGRAPHS OF A SERIES OF PAINTED VINYL WORKS ENTITLED ‘EXPERIENCES’ BY KIM WALKER FROM SCOTLAND AND PHOTOGRAPHS OF VINYL COLLAGE FROM ESTHER BOURDAGES FROM CANADA. OTHER SESSIONS SUCH AS ‘THE ABC OF PLAY’ AND ‘DEBATE ON THE PLATE’ HAPPENED IN AN ORDERED KIND OF ORGANIC CHAOS. THE ‘PROP - POSE’ WORKSHOP PROVIDED THE CUT OUT INSTRUMENTS FOR THE ‘DEATH DISCO’ IN THE GALLERY WITH COBRA CLUB DJ’S PLAYING THE ‘FURTIVE 50’ AS CHOSEN BY THE VISITORS TO THE EXHIBITION. Thanks to the staff at Newlyn Art Gallery and the people who waxed lyrical at Collectaa-Selecta!


EVENTS LISITNG INFO

WEDNESDAY- PLAY SESSION 1: ‘COLLECTA-SELECTA!’ ON ‘LETS PLAY RADIO’ INTERVIEWS AND LIVE POD CASTS ON LPR - AN INTERNET RADIO STATION CREATED ESPECIALLY FOR THE EXHIBITION. THESE SESSIONS ARE FOR THE CREATORS OF THE COLLECTIONS ON DISPLAY. THESE POD CASTS ARE RECORDED FROM INSIDE AN OLD STYLE RECORD SHOP ‘STUDIO’ SITUATED IN THE GALLERY. WHILE THE BROADCASTS TAKE PLACE THE AUDIENCE WILL BE ABLE TO RELhAX ON ‘LPR’ INFLATABLE FURNITURE AND LISTEN TO THE LIVE POD CASTS OR WALK AROUND BROWSING/LOOKING AT THE COLLECTIONS. LETS SCRIBBLE: MUSICAL MAYHEM MADNESS! DRAW TO THE SOUNDS OF THE LPR! UNDERGROUND

THURSDAY - PLAY SESSION 2: ‘COLLECTA-SELECTA!’ ON ‘LETS PLAY RADIO’ MORE INTERVIEWS AND LIVE POD CASTS ON ‘LPR’ WITH THE CREATORS OF THE RECORD COLLECTIONS ON DISPLAY. PLUS ‹DEBATE ON THE PLATE› A SPECIAL DROP IN FOR VISITORS DISCUSSING THE MERITS OF VINYL. ALL DAY: ‹PROP - POSE› - MAKE YOUR OWN IMPROVISED GUITAR IN THE GALLERY OR BRING IN ONE YOU MADE EARLIER AND DO WHAT YOU DO BEST ON THE N.A.G STAGE TO THE RECORDS OF YOUR CHOICE. LETS SCRIBBLE: MUSICAL MAYHEM MADNESS!

FRIDAY - PLAY SESSION 3: ‘COLLECTA-SELECTA!’ PLUS THE ABC OF PLAY - CHILDREN WELCOME. MORNING SESSION: ‘LEARN TO CARE’ - INCLUDES PRACTICAL SESSIONS AND TIPS ON CLEANING AND CARING FOR YOUR RECORDS, WHAT TO BUY AND WHAT TO AVOID. ‹LEARN TO PLAY’ - THIS IS THE SESSION FOR THOSE WHO NEVER DID. CHOOSE A RECORD FROM THE NEW ACQUISITIONS COLLECTION AND GET TO GRIPS WITH VINYL. LETS SCRIBBLE: MUSICAL MAYHEM MADNESS!AFTERNOON SESSION: PLAY AWAY - A DROP IN SESSION FOR VISITORS BRINGING IN A SELECTION FROM THEIR OWN COLLECTION TO PLAY ON ‹LET›S PLAY RADIO›. ENDING WITH CONDUCTION: THIS IS WHERE A NEW RECORDING IS CREATED BY CONDUCTING THE DECKS OF THE PARTICIPANTS FROM ‹PLAY AWAY›

SATURDAY –‘COLLECTA-SELECTA!’ LETS SCRIBBLE: MUSICAL MAYHEM MADNESS! PROP – POSE! DROP IN SESSIONS ALL DAY.

EVENING EVENT: ‘DEATH DISCO’ 7-11 PM: COME AND DANCE AROUND A HAND BAG TO THE «FURTIVE 50» CHOSEN BY THE AUDIENCE FROM THE COLLECTIONS ON DISPLAY.

SUNDAY – ‘COLLECTA-SELECTA!’ LETS SCRIBBLE: MUSICAL MAYHEM MADNESS! PROP – POSE! DROP IN SESSIONS ALL DAY.

EVENT 2.00 PM: CUBE! GYM! JAM! - THE FINAL FAREWELL: A LEGS, BUMS, AND TUMS WORK OUT TO HIGH/LOW OCTANE RECORDINGS ON NEWLYN GREEN. Bruce Davies, Hunter Gatherer for LPR! Newlyn Art Gallery 2008h


Cut out and keep: 1, 2, 3 Homage to Hannah Hoch [Redundant album covers] Bruce DaviesH 2008


“Bring me the head of Mantovani!� [or failing that Richard Clayderman.] Homage to Peter Blake [Redundant album covers] Bruce Davies

2008


The Portal Space record Factory formerly owned by EMI (60 mins) The EMI factory [now Portal space records] at Hayes Middlesex had been a sort of mythical place at the height of my collecting days. Many times while scouring the covers of my LP’s did I discover that they had been pressed at Hayes. A favourite example was the first Wire album ‘Pink Flag’ on the Harvest record label. I bumped into a friend one afternoon whose brother turns out to have bought the plant from EMI and put it on its feet again. It wasn’t long till I was on the train on a day trip down to the factory. It was meant to be purely a visual experience but ended up being quite a technical one. I was given a full on tour of the factory and the processes required to make a record. 2 ½ hours later I was back on the train with a plastic bag full of crushed rejects and 500 plus photographs. Many thanks to the people at Portal Space Recordst. Bruce Davies Hunter and Gatherer for ‘Let’s Play records!’


The First Punk Homage to Marcel Duchamph Bruce Davies January 2008


Lafrowda festival,St Just 2008


Bruce Davies has an established and dynamic practice that has become notable for the extensive platforms he has created for the presentation of his work and formulation of his ideas. His interests in exploring practical applications for contemporary art, visual enquiry and research are prominent in his site specific explorations of contemporary land use. Recognition of the contexts of place play a fundamental part in the success of these often ambitious land based and urban projects that have been staged both across the UK and internationally. He is based in West Cornwall, UK.

Lets Play Records!  

A comprehensive photo-document of the LPR! exhibition held at Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall UK. From the street…"It was like a cross between...

Lets Play Records!  

A comprehensive photo-document of the LPR! exhibition held at Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall UK. From the street…"It was like a cross between...