Owl Project @ Manchester Museum, Saturday, 27th Feb 2016
Owl Project have developed ‘Rock Music’, a new performance building on their previous experiments with prehistoric technology. Working with primitive technologist Karl Lee and experimental archeologists the artists have developed a set of augmented tools, new sensor and audio technology, which they use to detect movement and sounds from the processes of flint knapping.
During the packed performance, a Flint knapper made a hand axe and this process was transformed into live music. There was something extraordinary in seeing a prehistoric human action reenacted with the sounds of the stone being struck and then the added to by the Owl Project’s instrumental sounds.
Flint knapping is the act of shaping flint into the desired shape or tool by knocking it with a harder piece of stone or bone, depending on the size and shape of the object you want to create. Combining ancient and modern technology, Owl Project are interested in how these rhythms create forms and are one of the foundations of music.
Through their artists residency at Manchester Museum, the Owl Project became fascinated by the museum’s prehistoric stone tool collection and how it resonates with modern technology. For example, they were surprised to see the ergonomical similarities between stool tools and contemporary smartphones:
The artists are working with the Museum to show some of the performance elements in a vitrine. Bringing new and old technologies together.
Video by Tor Kristoffersen launching the Owl Project residency:
Invisible Dust in Museums
Invisible Dust is working with three Museum’s nationally: Manchester Museum (North West), Wood horn Museum, Northumberland (North East) and the National Maritime Museum (London). It is supported by Arts Council England.