Visitor Centre, my installation and the culmination of my residency at The Rea Garden, is now closed.  As such, I’ll no longer be posting to this blog, but my new projects, releases and exhibitions will be documented on my main site,

I’d like to give special thanks to Arlene, Paul and Leon for all their help and support; to Sarah from The Lombard Method for her hospitality; to the kind people who invigilated the show; and to everyone else who made me welcome in Birmingham and assisted me in my work there.

Below are a couple of images from the opening night.

Visitor Centre opening night

Visitor Centre opening night


Graham Dunning - Visitor Centre flier

Visitor Centre opens on Friday 17th September, 6pm – 9pm, and is open daily, 11am to 4pm from Saturday 18th September to Sunday 3rd October.

The show is the culmination of my 10 week residency at The Rea Garden, a former industrial site in Birmingham. It features a sound installation, excavations and found objects and an audio guide. Details below.

Graham Dunning - Visitor Centre flier reverse

Below is a breif summary of my artist’s talk at Eastside Projects last week. Despite forgetting the laws of thermodynamics and John Cage’s infamous quote, “music is the organisation of sound,” the talk seemed to be well received. Many thanks for those who came to hear it, and to Liz at EP and Arlene for organising it.

Overview of past works
Untitled (2008) and residency at ArToll, Germany (image and sound)
Long Railing (2009) (video)
Untitled with Records and Hammer (2009) (image)
Stutter (2009) (image and sound)
– sixty_six_events (images)
Ring a bell until you tell yourself to stop (2010) (video)
Fix an unbroken thing/object (2010) (video)
Untitled (2010) (image and sound)
Overveiw of performances
– Electronic Organica (2010) (image)
– Sonic Arts Forum (2010) (image and sound)
Influences on performance
– Philip Jeck live performance (video)
– Jeff Mills live performance (video)
– Pauline Oliveros live performance (video)
Overview of Rea Garden proposal
– Making sounds from excavated broken records
– Collaborating with local artists
– Exploring sculpture and sound sculpture
Research and influenc es on Rea Garden practice
Use of broken records
– Christian Marclay (images)
– Milan Knizak (image and sound)
Environmental Sound
– John Cage: 4’33”
– Maryanne Amacher: City Links
– Max Neuhaus: Timepiece
– Alvin Lucier: I am Sitting in a Room
– Gary Fisher: Amplified Floorboard (link image)
Installation and sculpture
– Cornelia Parker (image)
– Katja Strunz (image)
– Mark Dion (image)
Explanation of processes at Rea Garden
– Mapping (image)
– Excavating (image)
– Play and experimentation
– Sound collecting, recording (image)
Overview of Open Sound Group event
Description of elements of final show, Visitor Centre (2010)
Description of sound intallation for Solihull group show,  Three Artifacts (2010)

On Thursday 9th September, A Site of No Special Interest opens at Solihull Gallery. The show is a history so far of The Rea Garden artists’ project space in Birmingham, told through documentation and original artworks.

As current Resident Artist at The Rea Garden I’ve submitted a new work, Three Artifacts. The interactive installation consists of three turntalbles with dubplates of field recordings from the site. Visitors are invited to play the sounds either individually or in combination.

Detailed info about opening times on the images below.

A Site of No Special Interest - flier

A Site of No Special Interest - flier

At Eastside Projects this Thursday I’ll be giving a talk on my practice and my residency at the Rea Garden. The event starts at 6:30pm and is open to the public.

I’ll be talking through some of my past projects, and discussing my research for the residency, some of the activities I’ve undertaken, and my plans for the final exhibition. As such I’m likely to touch on the history of the use of records in art, sound sculpture, use of environmental sound, multichannel audio, etc., including a brief look at artists such as Milan Knizak, Christian Marclay, Maryanne Ambacher, John Cage, Katja Strunz and Pauline Oliveros.

Info on the first day of the first Open Sound Group collaborative workshop can be found here.

Seems silly to repost the same information, so below are a couple of photos of some of the recording experiments and techniques I used today.

excavation microphone

Live from The Fire Room

Collaborative workshop and networking event for artists working in sound and improvising experimental musicians: Open Sound Group.
Led by Graham Dunning, sound and visual artist in residence at The Rea Garden, Digbeth.  Hosted by The Lombard Method.

Friday 20th August: Collecting sounds and exploring The Rea Garden.
Saturday 21st August: Workshop and networking event at The Lombard Method.

recording setup and resonator

On Friday 20th August, participants are invited to visit The Rea Garden artists’ project space to collect field recordings, sound objects or ideas; to explore and get a feel for the site; and to talk to Graham about his work on the residency there. The site itself is a former industrial unit which was derelict for 20 years following a fire. As such it contains a wealth of interesting objects and scrap, including pieces of broken shellac from its former use as a record warehouse. The site will be open from 11am to 4pm.

The workshop will take place on Saturday 21st August in the project space at The Lombard Method (known as “The Fire Room”) from 12 noon onwards. The session will be informal and exploratory with no specific deadlines or rigidly defined outcomes, though the process will be documented with the possibility of collating some recordings for release. Participants are invited to bring instruments, sound making equipment, field recordings, effects processors, objects, etc. The workshop is open to any artists working with sound and improvising experimental musicians based near (or with connections to) Birmingham.

The starting point for the workshop will be a breif discussion about the Rea Garden and any ideas which may have arisen from the site visit. The day will then see people sharing ideas and processes, talking about their work and demonstrating their equipment as appropriate, leading to an exploration of how different sounds can work together or in contrast; how different processes can be connected; and ways of collaborating in a performance setting.

Towards the end of the session participants will be encouraged to take part in live recordings, improvisations or performances which will be documented. Different combinations of instruments can be explored; small groups, large ensembles or solo performances; artists remixing or otherwise manipulating others’ sounds; experiments with new or untested techniques.

Please contact Graham on 07920 004 479 or to confirm your attendance or with any questions.

The Rea Garden
1 – 8, Floodgate Street
B5 5ST

The Lombard Method
68a Lombard Street
B12 0QR

As part of the residency there are there are several events taking place, listed here in chronological order.

20th & 21st August: Open Workshop at The Lombard Method;
2nd September: Artist’s Talk at Eastside Projects;
9th September: Opening for exhibition at Solihull Gallery;
10th September to 9th October: Group show at Solihull Gallery;
17th September: Opening for exhibition at The Rea Garden;
18th September to 3rd October: Solo exhibition at The Rea Garden.

For any more info on any of these events please contact me by email. I’ll link to more detail as it comes in.

Experimenting with objects in the space again, this time using a railway sleeper and a hi-fi speaker to make a monolith or totem-pole, headstone or sentinel.

Monolith with speaker

Monolith with speaker

Monolith with speaker

This week I’ve been making some more recordings, including recording the sound of the spade as I’m digging using contact mics.

spade with contact mics

The contact mics are attached to the spade with silver gaffer tape. This first set up worked ok at first but the jolting of the digging movements caused problems with the recorder, so I taped it to my arm:

spade with contact mics

Here’s a clip of the recording: