‘Tenebrous’ Into the Darkness – Beneath the light – John Bowers & Alan Smith

John Bowers and Alan Smith propose to venture beneath the surface of Palnure Burn to create a sound and moving image installation. This process led project will be developed from their continued research into transformed perception and experience in sites of specific interest. Through this, they hope to create a multi-faceted work which explores many concerns including the mythic character of running water and its spectral dwellers, reflection and illusion, the act of immersion, as well as the collision of contemporary image, sound and mobile technologies with a classical element. The idea is under development and will progress through Chthonic http://acart.org.uk/chthonic.html its final manifestation will be realised at the Sanctuary event 2017.
The simple act of splashing the water will influence image presentation and sound track. For the full (literally) immersive experience people will be invited into the water (wet suits provided). The project can also be experienced from the river bank.

John Bowers works in Culture Lab and Fine Art, Newcastle University, where he coordinates research on Digital Cultures. He has made contributions to research in psychology, sociology, computer science, and art and design. He is also a sound and inter-media artist who works with modular synthesisers, home-brew electronics, and reconstructions of antique image and sound-making devices, alongside contemporary digital technology. He has performed at the collateral programme of the Venice Biennale, Piksel Bergen, Electropixel Nantes, BEAM Uxbridge and Spill Ipswich, and toured with the Rambert Dance Company performing David Tudor’s music to Merce Cunningham’s Rainforest. He contributed to the design of The Prayer Companion, Museum Of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, and acquired for their permanent collection. Amongst many musical collaborations, are Tonesucker, whose Omnia Convivia Crastina (Onoma Research) was A Closer Listen’s drone album of the year in 2012, and who contributed a recording made at the alleged UFO landing site in Rendlesham Forest to The Dark Outside 2012.


Alan Smith is a multi-media artist whose practice interests have informed his role as creative director of Allenheads Contemporary Arts, authoring art/science projects such as Base Elements, The Future, 95% Or As Far as the Eye Can See and more recently As Above so Below. Alan has lead residential laboratories at Nida Art Colony and workshops at Vilnius Academy.Alan develops methodologies through direct experience of locations; extensively working underground and on the fell tops and rivers around Allenheads. Hisresearch has introduced him to specialists from other subjects who inform project development. For example; Dr P J Edwards, department of Physics, Durham University and Professor Nicholas Owens Oceanographer and previously director of (BAS) British Antarctic Survey, The products of these interactions are live durational events, performance to camera, audio/video installations incorporating texts, composed sound and imagery.