I exhibited The Opportunists in September 2021. As part of Glasgow Open House Arts Festival 2021, the show comprised a group of filmed sculptures as well as a sound piece. To show the exhibition online, I used the streaming platforms StreamYard and Twitch TV.
Physically The Opportunists took place on a roof terrace in Glasgow’s Athletes Village. During eight live feeds I altered the sculptures and played audible stories of pre-COVID intimacy.
A range of objects made up The Opportunists. A green suit, a tweed jacket with colourful lining, and a coffee machine pump. I also included red felted parts from a chandelier, tent poles, and different types of coloured rope. This list is not exhaustive. I made a group of objects that could connect and become one. A hanging mass that I could be intimate with, and move around, during the live feeds.
The mechanics of using online streaming platforms, including being able to use previous recordings of live feeds, meant that I could splice together footage. Furthermore, this meant I could create movement within the streaming interface in time with the recorded audio.
During each live feed I made a point of referencing the surroundings of the roof terrace. This is a footbridge over the River Clyde, which actually connects Glasgow with South Lanarkshire at the Cuningar Loop. The roof terrace overlooks this view and is one of many roof terraces that were built with flats as part of Glasgow’s Athletes Village, to host internationals during the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
During one live feed I was unable to be on the roof terrace because the weather was too bad. Here is a still of me checking the temperature of my Japanese moth ball, whilst telling a story of how I came into possession of the weird yet very intimate and generous plant.
The Opportunists included audio made from voice recordings and found sound. It included references to sports played in the Commonwealth Games.
Importantly, the audio selected notes on forms of intimacy missed because of COVID-19 lockdown experience. At times there are crossovers between the sports and the tales of intimacy.
I edited a version of the original audio piece along with sound recorded from the live feeds. This was then presented during Radiophrenia 2022’s online programme.
Here is a description of the project, as if you were to consider its audio aspect alone. Or if you were a Radiophrenia listener!
The Opportunists works as a standalone sound piece. As an intimate listening experience it identifies nuances and aspects of connectedness. The piece touches on Commonwealth Games sports: archery, synchronised swimming and lawn bowls. It also refers to how closeness can be reconciled, with people who are loved.Description of The Opportunists for Radiophrenia’s listings