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NOCTURNES is the culmination of a two month research-residency in Finsbury Park, commissioned as part of 'A Million Minutes'. The research was structured as a series of night shifts, and the resulting work was formed through a number of exchanges with night shift workers in the area, including taxi drivers and bowling alley attendants. NOCTURNES was presented on 16 December 2013, between sunset at 15:51 and midnight, and comprised two 'channels': a series of 35mm colour photographs transferred to 35mm slide, and installed as a double-projection in a dis-used taxi rank on Berriman Road; and a short text work, 'published' as a loop on a dot-matrix screen at Rowans Tenpin Bowl on Stroud Green Road. NOCTURNES drew upon the social as much as mythical dimensions of the night, and pivoted around an embodied investigation into communal experiences of time, within the phenomenon of 24/7.

For some must watch, while some must sleep: So runs the world away.

[Shakespeare, Hamlet, c.1602, Act III, Scene II]

Abdul waits. His eyes pass slowly over the familiar objects before him. The dashboard interface blinks seconds and minutes, emitting a narrow band of blue light. The photoreceptors in his eye absorb this information. He is a model for internal desynchronisation. His clock, or many clocks, calibrated by wavelengths of light, photic input pathways responsible for circadian rhythm. At some point we hand a camera between us. His son Hadi confides that these images are already “in their blood”. Our interaction is more intermittent than continuous. Each moment that we live exists, but not their imaginary combination.

[excerpt from NOCTURNES script]


NOCTURNES (2013), 35mm slide projection and text. It was commissioned as part of 'A Million Minutes', an Islington Council project supported by Arts Council England and produced by AIR at Central Saint Martins. With many thanks to: Abdul, Heysam and Hadi at Safari Mini Cabs; Terry, Dave and Sam at Rowans Tenpin Bowl; Ali at N7 Cars; and to all those working the night in Finsbury Park, who through conversation and generous exchange, have contributed to this research. Project Assistant: Harrison Moore. Images 1 - 9: 35mm stills.