Henry Collins artist, performer, composer ……………

Creating Friction

Creating friction is a location based, touring sound installation which uses modified consumer electronics and foraged objects to create automata soundscape.

In May 2015 a compilation of edits from over thirty hours of recordings was released on third kind records, a review of it can be read here.

It’s first incarnation was during a residency at Room 8 in The Island arts complex in Bristol in 2013. Here’s the story of how the piece first developed

“In September 2013 I had to evacuate my studio due to an asbestos check; this lasted three weeks. It was during this time that I conceived my Creating Friction installation. Relegated to using the merky corridors of the basement of the former police station was in fact a blessing. After foraging around the building for some kind of inspiration i found all sorts miscellaneous metal objects. The decisions was quickly made to hang the objects from the girders on the ceiling using bungee cables and fishing wire, and to amplify them using contact microphones. They sounded great when touched and scraped, nice and resonant, but I wanted to find a way to automatically create movement and friction to touch the objects without having to do it manually. I figured using a modified oscillating electric fan would do the job. I also had some nice bendable metal rods so i tied them onto the the fan’s mesh and attached a fork to the end and moved them into suitable proximity of each other to create the sound i wanted”

This initial experiment was the basis for the residency. When the work was exhibited in Room 8, i wanted it to be interactive with signs placed around the space encouraging the public to touch and play with the items as they pleased. Metal items suspended from strings were also placed obstructing the doorway so, those entering the room created sound and automatically contributed to the work.

Joining the multiple electric fans were record players and an exercise bike. I had on/off switches for these friction makers, controllable from a central point so i could vaguely orchestrate the room. The items they were making friction with were changed daily depending on what I found on the street, in the building or dug out of my storage unit. This meant the room’s sound evolved overtime as the public and I modified and amended the settings, formations of the objects, thus changing the soundscape. Also as time went on, some things broke (the two record players) but this became no issue as innards of a piano were donated midway through the show giving the room new life and me something new to tinker with. Here is some footage from it;

Since then it has been installed in The De La Warr Pavilion, as part of Eat Drink Dance, The Shed Project Sound Space, and Strawberry Fare Festival. Photo’s, video’s and recordings can be found bellow. Note : For inquires regarding this installation please get in touch via the the contact page.