LONDONION

SOUND WORK. VARIABLE DURATION (2013)

‘Londonion’ is a new project commissioned by Film & Video Umbrella for ‘MerzBank’, a repository of artists’ online works that draw their inspiration from Kurt Schwitters. Guided by his innovations in the visual arts, in spoken word, in typography and poetry, the project anticipates how Schwitters’ mercurial spirit might have flourished in the online world, while highlighting the debt that new forms of digital collage owe to Schwitters’ formative example. Newly commissioned works by Nick Crowe & Ian Rawlinson, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard and Alec Finlay reflect the many different facets of Schwitters’ aesthetic while exploring today’s ever-expanding outlets for combining and communicating images, texts and sounds.

‘London Onion’, Kurt Schwitters’ love-letter to the city that became his home, has been turned by artists Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard into ‘Londonion’, a pocket-sized mega-mix of the original, updated for the present as a digital app. Centred on a performance of the poem by comic Stewart Lee, the piece combines verbal and sonic pyrotechnics with the potential for audience interaction that Schwitters encouraged in his art. The app responds to the random sounds and fluctuating noise-levels of the immediate surroundings and is supplemented by short introductory videos about the project that will be disseminated on YouTube and elsewhere, introducing ‘Londonion’ to a wider online community.

‘Merzbank’ officially launches on 1 April. Film and Video Umbrella will be presenting events as part of the Schwitters’ themed Late at Tate at Tate Britain on Friday 5 April 2013.

For more information, visit the Merzbank.com website.

Commissioned by Film & Video Umbrella
London Onion (1946) by Kurt Schwitters
Read by Stewart Lee
Recorded by Ross Adams
App developed by Incidental
With audio from London Sound Survey
Making Of film by Shimmy Ahmed