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Frances Scott and Chu-Li Shewring - Call and Response Prompt for Issue Five

Published onFeb 03, 2023
Frances Scott and Chu-Li Shewring - Call and Response Prompt for Issue Five

A duet is a composition for two performers, pianists playing simultaneously, music to be sung together, a choreography of hands and voices. Lichens are a complex duet between a fungus and an alga, separate organisms in symbiosis. Synthesis could also be described as a duet in which two elements produce a third.

“Original Synth’ claims a form of being synth or being that which makes anew. [...] If to synthesise is to make anew, then a synthesiser represents an ontology defined by the perpetual production of new combinations.’

Roshanak Kheshti, Wendy Carlos: Switched-On Bach (33 1/3, Bloomsbury Academic, 2019)

Drawing on the idea of ‘intra-action’ as something where distinct agencies are entangled, proposed by Karen Barad in Meeting the Universe Halfway (Duke University Press, 2007), how can we apply this to materials, forms, space and time in the making of our work? If we think about the duet as a promise between two individuals or bodies, what alchemy might be found at its limits and edges? How porous is this conversation in duo?

Media Cited

Wendy Carlos, annular solar eclipse photograph, 1984 (copyright / all rights reserved Wendy Carlos


Frances Scott is an artist working with moving image, to consider the narratives and histories at the periphery of cinematic production and its apparatus. Her work is informed by a collaborative and research-led process including recent presentations at Curzon Soho / London Short Film Festival (2023); BFI, London; Curtocircuíto - International Film Festival, Santiago de Compostela, Spain; rencontres internationales, Paris/Berlin (2022); ‘Mattflix’ Matt’s Gallery, London; Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester; 38th Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival; 67. International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (distributors) (2021); and 57th New York Film Festival (2019). She was awarded The Stuart Croft Foundation Moving Image Award (2017). Her films are distributed by LUX.

Chu-Li Shewring is a filmmaker and sound designer, and has collaborated on several projects with artist filmmakers including Anagram, Siobhan Davies, Jeremy Deller, and Ben Rivers. Her films combine interview, archival and documentary material, with delicately crafted soundscapes to create realities that sit somewhere between fact and fiction. Her most recent film, Fawley, co-directed with Adam Gutch, won Best International Short Film at Sheffield DocFest (2022). Working to Beat the Devil was nominated for Best Short Film at International Film Festival Rotterdam (2014). She was awarded the Jules Wright prize as part of the Jarman Award (2017), for her contribution as a sound designer in the area of artists’ moving image production.

Frances and Chu-Li are currently collaborating on Wendy, a film fan-letter to the composer Wendy Carlos, commissioned for exhibition at TACO!, London (2023). Preceding the film is Incantation, Wendy, a book published by An Endless Supply / Bobo books (2021) with contributors including Beth Bramich, Stine Hebert, Juliet Jacques, Tom Richards and Dave Tompkins.

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