Exhibitions & Projects

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Sculpture Shock Ambulatory: William Mackrell’s Gaps, glitches and speed bumps

9 September 2015 - 13 September 2015

Calling all London Bus users, this September prepare to find yourself immersed in the rhythms of the city as William Mackrell presents the culmination of his 2015 AMBULATORY Sculpture Shock residency: Gaps, glitches and speed bumps.

From Thursday 10 September - Sunday 13 September 2015 between 11:30am - 4.15pm unsuspecting passengers of the number 9 bus traveling from Aldwych to Hammersmith and vice versa will be met by professional singers who have been invited by Mackrell to make a sound response from inside the bus. Focusing on the mechanics of travel that pass through and around the body, the fluctuating airflow and reverberations created by the bus will be vocalised in genres spanning blues, classical, opera and electronic improvisations. These vocal responses will also consider the automated voice of the onboard loudspeaker in relation to the singers’, the momentum of travel and the disruption to this flow by traffic lights and sudden shifts whilst negotiating immediate street activity. Running in parallel to this, Mackrell will draw a line that maps the movement of the journey. The series of automatic drawings will record the swerves and jumps of the bus as a composition made over music score paper, which has been manipulated from its commonly linear format into a circular form. Mackrell has chosen this structure that considers the spherical nature of sound as a three-dimensional and surround experience. Born out of Mackrell's research into French cultural theorist Paul Virilio, Gaps, glitches and speed bumps attempts to activate the potential of ‘Ambulatory’ as site-specific language from a live and nomadic setting on London’s bus network.

This work is the culmination of Mackrell's three month Sculpture Shock 2015 Ambulatory residency. Now in its third year, this ground breaking award encourages surprising site specific spatial interventions in non-traditional spaces outside the confines of the white cube. The work of the winning artists appears in one of three environments: subterranean (the unseen world underneath our city), ambulatory (without physical confines in movement through space and time) and historic (an illustrious building in London).

Performances will run daily from 11.30am – 4.15pm. For more information and the full timetable visit the Sculpture Shock website. For live up to the minute accuracy on the performances location please follow @Liveonthebus or speak to project team staff at one of the four information points; Trafalgar Square Stop S, Green Park Stop H, Knightsbridge Station/Harrods Stop KE and High Street Kensington Stop F.  

Please note all performances will be taking place on a public bus. Please ensure you have a preloaded oystercard or contacless payment card if you would like to board the bus.   

About William Mackrell

William Mackrell’s speculative actions balance between the plausible and the absurd, the possible and the unlikely. Mackrell employs this precarious way of working as an inherent characteristic of the everyday. A thought grows full of expectation, but from the outset grapples with the likelihood of not working out. There is a friction throughout all his works that attempt to articulate this contest between reaching a desire in the face of falling away. Works are setup to question how language as a construct frames human existence, with a particular interest in the collision and molding of sensory experiences that join nature and technological production.

Mackrell graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design  in 2005 and completed his MFA at Goldsmiths College in 2014. He has exhibited work across the UK and internationally and was selected for the 2014 Lichtenberg Studios Residency, Berlin, and 2013 Krinzinger Projekte, Vienna.


Sculpture Shock Ambulatory: William Mackrell’s Gaps, glitches and speed bumps

Sculpture Shock Ambulatory: William Mackrell’s Gaps, glitches and speed bumps

Sculpture Shock is kindly supported by Samuel and Nina Wisnia through their CoLab programme.