For the Bangkok Biennial 2018, media installation and sound artist, Scot Cotterell from Tasmania was Jam’s artist in residence.
During his stay, he performed no input mixing twice, conducted a workshop on live coding for sound, and exhibited 2 single-channel video works produced in Bangkok and a series of micro-sound sculptures he created during his stay titled ‘Paper Speakers’. These objects handmade entirely out of
After Scot Cotterell had returned home we both had time to reflect on the experience, I sent him a bunch of questions I really wanted to know the answer to. He discusses the ‘big ancient machine’ that is Bangkok and gives us a better understanding of how he observes and participates in the flow of culture and production.
You previously visited Bangkok during your artist residency at Speedy Grandma in 2014, what was your first impression of the city?
Visually incredible. Vastly different than the southern island of Tasmania I call home. Ad-hoc. A big ancient machine with wires hanging out and water dripping through and geckos on the walls. Raw concrete stained by the tropical climate. People getting things done in myriad ways.
What made you decide to want to return to Bangkok?
Mostly the people I met and the energy that surrounds contemporary art here. To catch up with friends and develop new relationships, like the one at Jam. To try and glimpse a bit more of the scale and speed and movement of the city. To stay a bit longer and embed a little more.
To let my work be shaped by the encounter. To participate in the Biennial and contribute some energy to it.
How has it been participating as an artist in the inaugural Bangkok Biennial?
Refreshing, exhausting, fun, welcoming. To spend a concentrated period of time at Jam, meet people, test ideas and show new work has been very valuable. To see the works of the many other biennial artists and meet new gallerists, artists and audiences
How has it been travelling around Bangkok with your 14 year old son?
We had a great time, teenagers have the advantage now of being connected where ever they are, so while I was working on the exhibition and sound shows, he was chatting to mates around the world and gaming. We would go walking and travel around various parts of the city looking for supplies and getting lost. Our Jam hosts introduced us to lots of new faces, and some day trips for ramen and gallery visits meant that he had plenty to see and experience. Some of our most memorable moments were just wandering around in the rain, observing the pace of life in Bangkok, and hanging out at Biennial events. My son is often a young man of few words, about a week into our trip and walking through the sois surrounded Jam, he said “fuck I’m glad you brought me here”, enough said really. The two of us alone in a foreign city was great to develop our friendship too.
How does Bangkok compare to Tasmania?
Another planet. Tasmania is small, cold, sparsely populated, quiet, slow, relatively amnesiac about its pre-colonial history, a far south as one can get before Antarctica. Both places are wild and beautiful and harsh in completely differing ways. Amazing creative people in both cities.
For Paper Speaker exhibition at Jam you have created intricate sculptures that force the audience to get very close to
Not really, though it is a nice narrative that you and some other people have pulled from the work.
I have wanted to use micro-sound in various ways for a long time, being an experimental
…they are specific in that I recorded them around Jam, but also very subjective, almost generic containers to be filled with meaning, if they evoke something for the listener.
Why have you used cultural byproducts of the space Jam and Bangkok, such as event flyers, cardboard boxes and used packaging as material for this work?
Boxes, flyers, posters, packaging – all have this similar function they convey a branded or designed message, through their travel and distribution. A beer Leo box holds products, but it also carries externally imagery, the logo, the lion. Flyers have a similar function, a temporarily pertinent message or call to action, attend this show, come to this gig. Rather than being any kind of re-use or recycling message, its more a mixed appraisal of these found and encountered things, both for their visual qualities – colour, typography, pattern, text and their conceptual context – carrier of messages across and through consumption – of products and culture.
Rather than being any kind of re-use or recycling message, its more a mixed appraisal of these found and encountered things, both for their visual qualities – colour, typography, pattern, text and their conceptual context – carrier of messages across and through consumption – of products and culture.
In conversation, you often talk about the consequences of ‘giving tools of primary production to the people’. Could you elaborate on this?
Hah, it is part a kind of nod to a ‘seize the means of production’ type of statement, given where we are in history and that intellectual property is like the new oil or gold. But also, when people lament the fact that the early utopianism of the internet was hijacked by corporations and governments, you can show them bad memes, blurry mobile phone videos of major concerts, poorly constructed stock photography montages accompanying computerised vocal
During your stay at Jam, you did a couple of no input mixing sound performances, can you explain what this is? And what attracts you to this?
No Input is a type of experimental music that uses mixing desks and consoles as instruments. In short, you take all the outputs of a mixing desk and plug them into all the inputs of the desk, turn everything up and attempt to control the resulting sound. Every mixer sounds different and patching it differently will create infinite variation. In terms of its attractiveness,
A device designed to mix instruments becomes an instrument itself.
The instrument it becomes is very difficult if not impossible to ‘learn’.
The sounds of a mixer listening to itself is quite unlike any other sound and can vary from
Attempting to impose some form of structure on the system, to create a sound piece that actually goes somewhere / does something in terms of progression and transcends just twiddling knobs in an exploratory fashion takes a lot of concentration and chance.
bangkok compression, 2018
bangkok compression, 2018 by Scot Cotterell
Posted by JAM on Sunday, 5 August 2018
Can you tell us a bit about what the single-channel video works are about?
They are the equivalent of sketches made during the
The other is a compression, a speeding up of the visual language of Jam. Photos of a wide array of stickers that have accumulated throughout the space, graff writers, DJs, brands, record labels, logos, stop motioned into one frame after the other, a contained little visual onslaught.
PAPER SPEAKERS EXHIBITION
A new sound and sculptural installation made during residency, based around found paper ephemera used to make handmade sculptural paper speakers and sounding devices. A body of
SCOT COTTERELL – Artist Biography
Scot Cotterell is an Australian born inter-disciplinary artist known for his works concerned with the experience of mediated environments. His work uses mixtures of sound, video, images and objects in
In addition to his gallery practice Scot has chaired Hobart’s influential Artist-Run Space Inflight, sat on the boards of Contemporary Art Services Tasmania, The Plimsoll Gallery Committee, and the advisory panel for We Are Here International Artist-Run Initiative Symposium. Scot has been state representative for the ElectroFringe festival and has written commissioned essays and reviews for Cyclic Defrost, Devonport Regional Gallery and Wyndham Regional Gallery. Scot has curated exhibitions and releases for CAST Gallery, Boiler Room: National Improvisation Laboratory and The Academy Gallery UTAS, and co-curated exhibitions at BUS Gallery, The Plimsoll Gallery and Inflight ARI.
This exhibition was supported by Jam Bangkok, Arts Tasmania and The Claudio Alcorso Foundation.