Martin Parker
University of Edinburgh


Portfolio, Practice based, composition, ambulant listener, active performer


journeyMan is a collection of three compositions for mobile phone and ambulant listener. The journeyMan system uses the sensors on contemporary smartphones to propel the piece forwards, turning the listener into an active performer of the piece. The first piece (journeyMan for galleries) was created for use in art galleries and was specifically composed to accompany an exhibition of paintings by Christopher Orr in January 2015, hosted at Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh. The piece mapped the listener’s heading to paths through the work and detected whether the listener was walking or not. As people moved to each painting, the piece would move along with them. It would then hover inplace when standing still and looking at images. The second piece (journeyMan for archives) was commissioned by the Conference on World Affairs and used segments of the conference’s extensive archive as source material. This important record of public and political opinion spans the entire history of the conference which began in 1948. Lectures and panel discussions that could have mobile-phone related themes were selected. Valerie Plame Wilson’s session on spying for the CIA finds itself juxtaposed against Tom Imboya talking about Africa’s nationhood. Questions about the future of art are pitted against panels where the role and responsibility of the media is challenged. Using these speeches makes a general reference to surveillance capitalism and may remind the listener how smartphones run free with our personal information. The final piece is called unsettled and oversensitive. This title helps explain a response to the potentially pernicious nature of some of the apps and operating systems that sustain our mobile phone economy. The piece was designed both as an application for solo listener but also works as a performance piece. It was first presented in Edinburgh in February 2018 at St Cecilia’s Hall.

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2 May 2024


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All text in this portfolio is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. This means you are free to share and adapt this content provided you give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. All images in this portfolio are All Rights Reserved. This means the authors retain copyright over original work and it is not permitted to copy or redistribute these images.


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.