Jolyon Haycock: This Could Happen to You, Ikon Eastside


This Could Happen to You (detail), Jolyon Laycock

11 September — 12 September 2010

Ikon Eastside, 183 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 5SE

Ikon Eastside stages a new version of Jolyon Laycock’s 1974 “environmental audio-visual collage” This Could Happen To You. Laycock’s original installation was interactive and highly-politicised; a combination of projected slide images,  sound recordings and printed text which served as an explorative survey of political anxieties.

Reconfigured for Ikon, the work has been translated from analogue to digital technologies. Nine projectors and four speakers relay audio and visual material which is controlled through a custom-made computer network. Excerpts from political speeches are relayed into the space, the volume range of one speech controlling the output of the other. The resulting audio material is subsequently recorded by the system that broadcasts it, interrupted by a further audio feed, and broadcast once again, generating memory flashbacks that disintegrate with time.

Media images from the 1970s are projected onto the gallery walls and nine separate digital slide shows are triggered when the audio material reaches a certain volume level. This mix creates a complex collage of distorted messages. The experience is a disorientating one as we encounter a system on the verge of collapse, overwhelmed by the multiplicity of communications.

This installation is presented during Artsfest, 10 – 12 September.