She Hangs her Coat on the Highest Pin (2015)

She Hangs her Coat on the Highest Pin 15 minutes | 2015

In May 2015 we commissioned pop reconstructivists The Aleph to collaborate with artist filmmaker Mary Stark to create a new audio/visual work in response to the Textiles Gallery at Manchester Science and Industry Museum as part of Manchester After Hours. The work was performed site specifically within the gallery, which contains original Victorian cotton spinning machinery.

She Hangs her Coat on the Highest Pin is an expanded film performance comprising three simultaneous 16mm projections of cotton mill workers, gleaned from archive footage. The artist walks from one machine to another, physically altering the visual tryptch by choosing between different pieces of celluloid and fitting them to the projectors. Connections arise between what is on screen and the means by which the film is presented; between two mechanical processes that are now largely obsolete and their relationship with the human figure. In accompaniment, live sound from The Aleph explores and re-imagines material sourced from traditional industrial folk music, tracing its resonances through to the present day, and further, into the future.

Mary Stark is an artist filmmaker based at Rogue Studios in Manchester. She explores film projection as a site of wonder and imagination and is enchanted by the sculptural materiality of the filmstrip.  Since 2012 Mary has been exploring 'voices' created from fabric, lace and thread through the filmmaking technology of optical sound. Optical sound involves visual forms in the soundtrack area of the filmstrip transforming into noise through film projection. Mary's performances summon absent voices and obsolete industries, involving 16mm film projection, light and shadow, mechanical noise and music associated with textile production. 
The Aleph consist of two of a.P.A.t.T‘s former conspirators, Jon Hering and Ben Fair, both member also of Ex-Easter Island Head. 

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