Happenstance (2014)

LV21, Gillingham

On Friday 7th November, I recorded the rehearsal of the concert along with sounds from around LV21 – overheard conversations, the noises of the water below, and then edited the audio recordings. During the performance on Saturday evening, I transmitted this audio to the entrance of the ship, alongside a live transmission of the white noise coming from an old radio.


The performance looked at the links between spirituality and technology, concentrating on the early 20th century with the arrival of Marconi’s wireless system, which promised to unlock the mystical enigmas of the ether. The idea of ‘what happens in the gaps’ was important – trying to reveal the mysteries hidden within these spaces which are yet to be uncovered.

By its very nature, technology is seriously spooky. It basically preserves the dead, creating this spirit world in a dimension parallel to ours. And through my research I found that surges of interest in the paranormal are linked to advancements in technology – creating these strange 3rd spaces.


This is what I was investigating… what could I find within these spaces, what mysteries and secrets are hiding. By time stretching, looping, layering and transmitting the audio, I hoped to explore the space onboard and surrounding LV21 both in this dimension and the spirit world which lies beside.


This research brought me onto looking into The Stone Tape Theory, which had been speculated upon as early as the 19th century. And it says that inanimate materials can absorb energy from living beings… so a ‘recording’ or track is laid down during moments of high tension. And this stored energy can then be released, resulting in a display of the recorded activity, or in other words this is when people see ‘hauntings’. What’s particularly interesting about this performance is that it was happening on board a ship, in water. Now one of the explanations for The Stone Tape Theory is that the energy is stored within the structure of molecules, especially water. And nanotechnology has proved that information can be stored in methods invisible to the unaided eye. Homeopathy is really interesting in this context as it proves that water can retain a long-term energetic imprint because patients use dilutions of the therapeutic substance that are so weak as to contain no molecules of the original ingredient – yet they still work. This may answer the question to how place memory is stored – in water.