Calum Stirling

Image: Remote Village,
Copyright the artist 2019

video still

The Listener is the Operator 2002

Screen work, no sound
Calum Stirling & Rob Kennedy

'The Listener is the Operator' contrasts a series of slowly dissolving photographs of controlled explosions on a Ministry of Defence test site, with extracts from Jacques Attali's 1977 treatise, 'Noise: The political economy of music'.
On a split screen, a dense scrolling text discusses the power of sound and music as social and political tools, how the control and structuring of sound is at the root of any system of social power. Adjacent to the text is an image of a simple flat horizon dividing grass and sky, slowly this
image dissolves, firstly to show the split second of detonation and then the resultant fireball of this test explosion, before dissolving back to the seemingly empty landscape.

Commissioned by the CCA, Glasgow for CCA/Tramway install at Glasgow Art Fair 2002