JEM NOBLE, ROD MACLACHLAN
Blackout Arts is an art collective. Established in 2002, we create art works in a variety of media, based on shared interests in sound, music, moving image and performance. We also design, curate and manage events for the delivery of such work. Growing out of Bristol’s inspirational, amorphous arts enclave and world-leading microplex, The Cube Cinema, Blackout Arts is playful, serious and open to suggestion. Our work has included collaborations and commissions with artists, arts institutions, community groups, schools, local authorities, wanderers, dreamers, bodgers, dodgers, collectors, enthusiasts and fastidious perpetrators of confusion, producing challenging, intriguing encounters and discursive possibilities in the public realm.
Blackout Arts’ curatorial and production practices evolve from a basis in expanded cinema and the potential that specific social-technical configurations afford to a wider range of contemporary art forms and creative projects; from shared concerns with the relationships between sound, image and space; with the process and outcomes of dialogue between gesture and location; with the development of collaborative opportunities for making and presenting work; and with engaging new audiences through subversion, punctuation or coercion of the familiar.
Jem Noble draws on diverse disciplinary influences that collide in his concerns with materiality, subjectivity and their inter-relationships. Encompassing moving and still image, sound, music, text, sculpture, site-based gesture and social encounter, he works in conversation with histories of conceptual art and its resonance in questions of framing, indeterminacy, reception and agency across a broad constellation of critical platforms and practices. He has facilitated 100-piece noise choirs by disseminating bespoke video training-manuals through community networks in Bristol and Glasgow; tracked the historic path of a VHS rental-copy of Harold and Maude through Vancouver on a customised bicycle; broadcast live audio from shopping-mall construction works across Bristol via FM radio; and painstakingly recorded music from the internet in realtime over three months to DJ at Manifesta 7 in Trentino. Since 1998 he has been an occasional contributor to volunteer-run expanded-cinema space The Cube Microplex and is founding member of both the Blackout Arts collective and the former Stten Aggregates creative imprint; he was co-director of Venn Festival of new and exploratory music between 2004 and 2008 and is an associate artist at Spike Island Centre for Contemporary Art and Design.
Video Artist, VJ , AV Technician, Production designer and sometime sculptor.
Rod still likes to think of himself as a Sculptor as this is how his brain approaches his various creative projects. However since arriving in Bristol in 1999 he has been lured into the thriving video and film experimentations that Bristol is so rich in. Rod’s work since has involved video and light installations, VJing shenanigans, and production design for arts events and music festivals. He has often worked collaboratively with community groups, musicians and Artists.
When away from his all engulfing internet reality Rod finds time to
dabble with more sculptural, alchemical endeavors; making a mess with
dust, fizzing chemical elements, candles, light sources, plants and
spinning sticks as he attempts to conjure golden video collages from
Rod is lucky enough to have his hybrid film re-edits Point to Point (Zabriskie Point meets Vanishing Point) and Bug Planet (Phase VI melds with Microcosmos) rescored live by Granzon Nodo.
As an eclectic VJ Rod has provided visuals for a hugely diverse range of acts from Herbert’s big band to Melt Banana, Mark Stewart, Pete Tong and Oxbow.
Rod runs Beam Productions.
He studied sculpture at Chelsea and Glasgow Art Schools.
Former actor, ghostwriter and international business person he is also longstanding involver of the arts. His solo work is normally consigned to give-a-ways and aliases. Chiz’s collaborative work within artist groups over the last twenty years has been his main focus and contribution to various economies. He has been involved, set up and contributed to Whose House, Jimell Brigades, Salter Film Society, The Cube Cinema, Downtown Movie Lounge, Chiz ‘n’ Dave and SGX’. Key projects include Ghostland Rave, My Future Wife, Compass, New Age Travelers In A Field Near You, Blackout Sound Cinema, DoZY and reams of time-lag poetry. Work includes conception, film, music, photography, fine art, installations, surveillance and location heavy multi-media pieces. As a musical tour adventurer he works with Mark Slater on Qu Junktions and with lots on The Venn Festival.
As a contributor and programmer work and ideas have appeared within subterranean zines as well as niche and mainstream festivals and organisations incl: Gunfight29, Naked, The Wire, BBC News, Dialect Radio, Independent Heroine, Lovebytes and Sleevenotes.
Chiz’s work scratches a line between lo-res strategy and hi-end lethargy. Elemental production, oil bubble cinematics and popular adventure fiction are strong aesthetic and thematic pulses throughout his work. Tendering him up as high entertainment and melodramatic (the audience and emotion are always vital to his work) and provocative and brutal (he recently had the plug pulled on a music project at a leading art gallery). His work is best without notes.