For we are made of lines.

 

by TRACI KELLY and RHIANNON JONES

View Traci Kelly's Biography

Traci Kelly is an independent artist-scholar based in Stuttgart, Germany.

View Rhiannon Jones' Biography

Rhiannon Jones is an Artist Researcher in the Digital Material Artistic Research Centre (DMARC), School of Arts, University of Derby, UK

For we are made of lines.

by TRACI KELLY and RHIANNON JONES

 

We are not only referring to lines of writing.

Lines of writing conjugate with other lines, life lines, lines of luck or misfortune, lines productive of the variation of the line of writing itself, lines that are between the lines of writing.

Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (2004)

 

Some lines are not straight: the wavelength

As a poetic exploration of the collaborative practice of Kelly + Jones (2014-2020), this article critiques processes employed by the artists to excavate writing and site with attention to aspects of sound. The sites of investigation include a disused quarry in Cambridge, UK.1 The use of the chalk quarry creates a unique ambience2 considered theoretically in relation to phenomenological, dialogical, and post- feminist perspectives in tandem with a partnered site of an old staircase with integral chalkboard in a former inner-city Victorian school.3 The site-specific nature of the investigation requires that environmental ambience is noted and processed through the body as a material quality instrumental in rendering form. The material ambience of site is also embroiled with diverse modes of expression through and off the body that is inescapably conditioned by the translation of social relations. Also to consider is an inter-relational translation from environment to tissue where cultural memory embeds in the yet-to-emerge gestures of the anticipated. The gouging and scarring of the landscape where chalk has been blasted, hacked and removed, and the striking of surfaces inherent in chalk on board in regimes of education and enculturation chime with the violent and strident nature of writing a subject into being, even more evident in acts of resistance. The sifting of dust particles into the lungs of workers and educators are a reaction inducing irritant causing bodies to spasm in coughs and soft tissue to mobilise and swell. The artists value this material and cultural aspect as a site of troublesome proliferation on the side of the feminine.

The collaborative writing offers a glimpse into the artists' questioning of the material world of the human body and the spent bodies of marine-life which create chalk deposits, in order to explore the dialogic relationship of the body and its ambiant hauntological qualities.4 Though the project holds personal resonance and subjectivities for the artists tethered to site intimacy, in this instance they opt to share their research through the voice of third person as a creation of a third site. They resist third person as a replication and appropriation of the hierarchical voice-as-trope. Firstly, by putting aside the intimacy of the first person the artists intend to draw attention to the there-yet-not-there qualities of the hauntological scene and to perhaps open a space where the reader can insert their own subjectivity as they wander through a newly encountered and perhaps dense terrain. A reader may find their own ways to enter the unoccupied space of first person and disrupt the flow of words and events, altering the course of the article within their individual encounter.5 Secondly and importantly, the third person voice is a third site for the artists where they are not a singular 'I' or a collective 'we' but a blended otherness that returns its own strangeness to them as an unfathomable entity they evoke whilst writing - conjuring visions and creating magic.

The practical research around writing resists using text because of its inherently hierarchical disposition in terms of gender, race and class codes and exclusions. By refusing to offer decipherable text in the practical investigations the artists set up an alternative provocation utilising grammatical signs and symbols. By tampering with the form and avoiding the defining sense of a word they aim to resist boundaries and enable "the structural enigma which inaugurates the scene of writing" (Castricano 2001).

As part of their investigation into the site of writing, this essay creatively contemplates the role of the body as an instrument for making and storing sculptural sound documentation to excavate work based on re/calling, un/calling, production and erasure within phenomenological experience.6 Kelly + Jones embrace the unknown within research-creation as the ground for potentiality in thinking around chalk's materiality and the cultural significance of mark-making as a condition of writing a subject into being. The collaboration probes how this might be distilled into enmeshed visual and audial practice through creating a micro-ecology of sound-body interventions. Through their improvised gestures ambience is situated as a dis/embodied oscillation that only exists in the moment of interplay between artists and site, which the artists consider live 'jamming sessions' within a responsive and improvised practice. The unforetold of improvisation and the discursive nature of ambience necessitate the grapple of emergent subjectivity and its possible transgressions. The relationship between sound-body-landscape blurs the lines of formation of ambience, as a site of re/action. Ambience's unfaithful and generative translation into gesture resists ontological distinctions and casts shimmering generative interplays.

The exploratory works in the quarry consider the artist as instrument and sensitised corporeal recording device, the pit as echo chamber, and the artists' interventions in the site as soundscapes - visceral, live scores that are embodied.7 The positioning of the artists' bodies as a point of resonance in building sculptural soundscapes constitutes a fragile and precarious interplay with the site.8 This evolving body of work is a series of multimedia-based artefacts and live works that explore the contextual process of writing through the body and the writing of sound-as-site into being.

2 - FIGURE_ONEandTwoScriptalingus.jpgFig 1 and 2: Scriptalingus. Image credit: Kelly + Jones, 2014.

The artists seek to undermine the hieracrchy of the hand in the production of text and its laying down of material on a ground. Scriptalingus writes through the tongue and the moisture of saliva in a gestural writing by subtraction that creates an opening.

Un/Seeing Walk , Kelly + Jones 2015

For we are situated.

Kelly + Jones dressed in black, stand in the excavated site with the wind bustling and circling around them-pushing their bodies forward, pushing their bodies backward in the same direction as each other. The wind is extraordinarily strong buffering their bodies, redirecting the wings of small birds and stems of plants, assaulting the camera and its capturing of sound. The site is colonised by wild flower facsimiles of the body such as Kidney Vetch and Milkwort. The plants medicinal qualities parallel the way the artistic investigations filter and ooze as the artists seek to 'run pack'9 across chalk's dusty residues.

The hollowed-out pit is dis/used and repurposed by birds nesting in its escarpments. Their song rises even in the gusts that rush to supplant and relocate it. With eyes covered and also dis/used the artists wonder if the birds can come to those dark socket-caverns and find safe haven from the pluck of the kestrel and lay low in times of incubation. What would be the gentle sensation of their feathers leaving human bodies as they exit the repurposed portals? The sound would be a gentle burring of vibrating feathers similar to the camera's mechanical attempt to find automatic focus. A collaborator's fingertips rest across the lids, double shuttering. The sound must come through the ears and the vibrations on a skin-drum. Like the chalk, the crystals in their ears are also a form of calcium carbonate. They allow a sense of balance even though vision is impaired.

Upon what edges and shapings might the artists stumble as they mis/step through the felt terrain, and what future might emerge? The close future of the next step is considered and "experienced as a haunting: as a virtuality10 that already impinges on the present, conditioning expectations and motivating cultural production" (Fisher 16-24). Micro-sounds of compression under weight and slippages in footing speak back to the movement and the bodies in production. Venture carefully. Take account. Where the artists' bodies physically connect as they cover each other's eyes with the palm of the hand they become a single apparatus circuit. Yet like stereo sound they are processing and projecting different base sounds and notes whose strands will combine in an attempt to create a sense of location.

In the present of the cautious emerging step, the mind runs ahead. It imagines a rumble, a cascade, a thud as a body blindly stepping out impacts a chalk well and air suddenly leaves the lungs. The body's vision of its own demise silences the hum of the chalk pit's distant traffic and the rustling of the swaying vegetation. The imagination has changed the audible as it is paused, reshuffled, and supplanted. As soon as the location is sonically built it is dismantled and carried elsewhere.

For we are mis/placed.

Later in the studio when the imagined fall in the pit is reimagined on the Victorian stairwell the sound shifts to a barely audible body creeping into place with a brush against stone and the clatter of an iphone that has made its own unexpected leap over the edge. Another body restages the moment of demise. Its head is buried in a mound of chalk that has also fallen, fallen away from the cliff, away from the site, away from the whole, and into a different erratic reality. It mounds around vision and muffles hearing, creating a sound barrier to the footfall in the wider studio complex. Like the sound, the visual image is also a distorted body with missing information around its edges.

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Fig 3: Untitled. Image credit: Kelly + Jones, 2014.

When the location shifts to the school stairwell what travelled freely and openly, fading out into wider space within the chalk pit, is now firmly bordered by floor to ceiling brick walls. The narrow passage creates a speaker effect. Falling and stumbling form part of many gestures where balance is precarious and lump chalk is thrown and kicked in cascades down stone steps. In these actions sound is processed differently through the subjectivity of corporeal experience. One artist may produce the sound event through direct action whilst the other witnesses and in that sense sensationally records the sound. This then reverberates into the next action to be performed by the previously witnessing artist.

The body stirs the quarry into action, shifting the energy of the site with Kelly +Jones' flesh alerting the sound flow and reverbs as they are situated material presences. They are an acoustic apparatus, as their bodies move through the site in live processes of absorption and projection. With their presence on site their corporeal materiality inherently takes in the sound energy as sound waves are encountered and later transmitted. They are in a dual process of absorption and emanation through the acted upon body and the acting out body. The dialogical activity of absorbing sound energy from the space transforms into heat, heat for their muscles, their movement. Their thinking in turn, is also being transmitted along neural pathways through the absorbing body. Physicist David Bohm (2004) breaks the word dialogic down, with the 'dia' component meaning through. Implicit to this is the sense of movement, of activity. As they walk, thought processes become overtly tacitally connected. Their movement is shifted from individual to collaborative action through which they must interpret each other in process in improvised score. Bohm suggests "thought is emerging from the tacit ground, and any fundamental change in thought will come from the tacit ground. So, if we are communicating at the tacit level, then maybe thought is changing" (2019). Tacitly operating, the artists intuitively think about how things are organised and activated in a landscape that is vibrating with human and non-human form. As they walk, they sense, they recall-the lost... the complex and intricate history and future of a protected space, a space of scientific interest and wildlife preservation-an ecology into which they are inserted as a resonating feature. They walk over the undulating surface inviting into their bodies a discourse with the landscape-they touch, smell and taste mineral deposits-create soundscapes, absorbing the presence of the site, and of each other.

As the hips amble unevenly on rising terrain it is easy to imagine that the gentle swaying and articulation of the bones gives way to grinding, to powdering. The wearing away. Leaving soft flesh without the inner structure to which it was accustomed. To those long altered lives whose infinite external calcites were pressured into chalky stratas-the pressure can be heard. Geological time meets performance time in the swiping of chalk across a chalkboard. It groans, squeaks, scratches, and snaps, and gasps its way into the now of event-the pit in the staircase and the path in the school hall that leads the way to the stairwell. In the transposition of site from pit to school the chalk that was underfoot in the landscape now becomes the chalk that is taped to the bottom of bare feet. As the sites are overlaid the soundscape changes from the squeak of dry material and the shuffle of thick black soles on dusty surface to the stotting of failing balance in a series of full stops with potential, lining up as the grammatical sequential ellipsis... and restarts with sweeping movements that scrape and scribe as tape pulls away from skin.

For we are the apparatus.

To this end, the body is an apparatus to open up perceptions and possibilities. It is not a fixed entity in the world. It is dynamic, it is live, it produces iterative figurations, rearrangements and reworkings. In many of the artists' processes and gestures there is an element of falling and stumbling whether that is positioned through their own bodies or enacted upon material mass. The leaving of stable positions such as standing upright and lying prone and paying attention to the fall and the sway is a device they utilise to consider approaching the unknown and the yet-to-be-perceived. It is an in-action commitment to change. Their bodies constantly shift-like dialogue and virtuality-theirs is a live process that acknowledges the past and the present in the unfolding now. As a methodological approach for artistic practice, it is processual, it is an unfixed structure that is responsive and shape-shifting. Romdenh-Romluc (2000) reflects on the thinking of French Philospher Merleau-Ponty who proposed that the body comes into being through a sense of seeing and being seen or creating a sense of self and other. This is aligned with Kelly + Jones' thinking that considers writing and sound as equally interwoven with these ideas and of material process and practice.

We Are The Apparatus, Kelly + Jones 2014

The performativity of sound is considered as essential in understanding the multifaceted and multisensory nature of the process and contributions of being attentive to a particular site. The sound influences from the site are not captured or recorded with any equipment other than the body where it is sensed in layers of time and temporal transitions that stir the organs. This felt sound that touches upon, influences the gestures that emerge in the stairwell and connective school hall that produce their own sound, which in turn reaches out relationally as a seismic hum back to the chalk pit. The sounds of impact of the gestures increase and echo on the stairwell whose high walls amplify. As in the gestures, the sounds are experienced live by the artists and their witnesses as aural bursts and scrapes that are corporally documented via fallible cellular memory in contrast to technically seized and composed sound data.11

As Kelly + Jones move in the site a new formation of bodily lines are drawn. Their bodies become a transmitter of digitally looped and suspended sound residing in between action and discourse. There are moments when the documentation they create "explodes into sound when tensions in the performing body can no longer be contained, spilling over the boundaries of the recording touch the listening body" (Sewell 60-65). It spills further still, into their process of half sensing, half drawing, half seeing, half hearing the sketch to become another type of site. Kelly + Jones' understandings of the 'site' leans towards matters of concern rather than the geographical situation. "It is an informational site, a
locus of overlap of text, photographs and video recordings, physical places and things. . . . It is a temporary thing; a movement; a chain of meanings" (Kwon 214).

It is a listening site, a site that reveals and conceals as much as desires from the bodies of Kelly + Jones, as Sharp states, a body will "constantly generate material, build surfaces, changing the physiognomy" (Kaye 188-9) through their action, and through the corporeal recordings created of the quarry. Kelly + Jones listen, press record, sketch lines on the page. Soundscapes of thinking are mapped. White deposits of chalk rub against the surface of their hands, highlighting yet another map, a lifeline etched on their hands. These maps of hand and quarry now interweave. Splice tracks... the tympanic cavity picks up parallel sounds. Ghostings of the clatter and strike of metal from the ancient Iron Age fort discovered near the site do not drown out the hammer of the blackbird's beak as it strikes the shell of its prey against a stone anvil. Three ossicles picking up sound vibrations can carry both the loud and quiet violence of creation and annihilation to the aural nerve.

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Fig 4: Sketchwork for listening. As chalk sedimented from marine life, the crystals in human ears are formed of calcium carbonate. Image credit: Kelly + Jones, 2019

For we are of hands and feet.

The cultural charge that the site holds crunches below the thick soles of their matching black shoes. With each step taken the resonance of the site is heightened. It reverberates through, from and around. Kelly + Jones stand on approximately 2-3 million years of chalk sediments that are represented by the cliff faces. Fossil shells of sea animals can be found in the loose chalk blocks by the side of the paths. The artists are within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) noted for its biological value due to important chalk grassland flora. They are situated close to an ancient human occupation. This layering of time through the prehistoric marine life sedimented into chalk, the ancient human settlement, the 19th Century of discovery and knowledge exemplified by fossil collecting activities and the contemporary lived now is the precursor, the endnote and footnote that foreground the ambience of Kelly + Jones' artistic work. They are part of a live process that carries heritage yet understand their practice in and of its own terms in relation to each other, to the environment and atmosphere where they co-exist at a particular moment in time and in relation to systematic hierarchical structures around the value of writing and lived experience which they endeavour to subvert. They think, they feel through their hands and feet as they walk the pit, hold each other and climb the steps to scrawl the chalkboard. Their understanding of the process of making is, as Tim Ingold (2011) suggested, through their tactile contact with the world, through the materiality of the work reliant on the hand and body of the other, in relation to their movement across the scooped out basin to the structure of stairwell.

Images constructed by Kelly + Jones reach back to the summer of 2008 when children playing within the south-eastern corner of Cherry Hinton's East Pit discovered the legs and feet of a human burial. The discovery made manifest moments of absence, bringing them into a recorded and temporal present. In this way, "provision-ally, then, we can distinguish two directions in hauntology. The first refers to that which is (in actuality is) no longer, but which is still effective as a virtuality (the traumatic 'compulsion to repeat', a structure that repeats, a fatal pattern). The second refers to that which (in actuality) has not yet happened, but which is already effective in the virtual (an attractor, an anticipation shaping current behavior)" (Fisher 19).

2 - Fig 5 B

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Fig 5 and 6: Panoramic photographs influenced by sound waves across layered archaeological time and absent digital information. Image credits: Kelly + Jones, 2014

For we are made of reverberations.

We look, then re-look. We touch and re-touch, we write and re-rewrite. We verb and re-verb. We re/do. Reverberation discloses sound's will to continue.

Kelly + Jones continue resonating becoming a reverb, causing numerous reflections to build up and then decay as the sound is absorbed and directed by the surfaces of objects in the space. They are also re-verbing in the linguistic sense of a verb: which describes an action or a state. The grammatical verb is active, denoting doing or being and when nestled with sonic reverb could indicate redoing, reactivating, re-verberating as a sense of becoming-in-process, writing a subject into being and un/resting. These processes of revisiting and looping constitute Kelly + Jones' linguistic interplay with each other and with the sites. In the translation from geographical and encultured sites to digital material and screen the authenticity of the site may diminish if faithfulness is assumed to equate authenticity. Kelly + Jones suggest that faithfulness has little if anything to do with authenticity, and that the register of authenticity on one hand relies on a dishonesty that something is repeatable rather than an acknowledgement of unrepeatability on a structural and molecular level, and on the other hand may not at all be desirable or locatable. Additionally, the translation to screen creates a third site with it's own specificities. They do the same thing over and over again. The process actions are a physically enacted re-verb whilst the looping of video footage becomes a digital reverb. It carries a distortion. Focus is given to all aspects of "participative thinking and acting (which is considered as) an engaged and embodied relationship" (Gardiner 54) to incorporate physical, cognitive, spatial and narrative processes for conversation. And as Tess Denman-Cleaver suggests, such "activities were developed through collaborative dialogues - practical and verbal negotiations - and were adapted and modified in response to their affect upon us, their practical feasibility as we move around...'' (Denman-Cleaver 219).

For we are made and re-made - ditto.

Ditto , Kelly + Jones 2014

The discovery of the remnants of the previously mentioned feet from Iron Age bodies renders a timeline from ancient life to the present, in which both decay and richness are mutually present. Ditto... the same can be said of the chalk-forming bodies that stretch from prehistory to the buildings and road markings of contemporary times. Some things are said more than once; they are marked by repetition because they are applicable more than once and across different contexts. Ditto marks a duplication in bodies, in chalk, in gestural and aural processing and offers a density through stacking. The grammatical ditto offers a shorter path to information because of its signalling to recall the previous. In a creative sense its repetitive statement on the line below may also relate to sonic reverberation where sound appears multiple times further down the line. A sonic reverberation is also a length of time that allows sound to decay and gradually fade away, carrying a haunting quality as it travels through space and time. Inherent in the nature of reverberation is the complex information it carries about the physical space. Reverberation is recalling the space, it is an active retrieval-in-process, a recalling of events from the past. This retrieval mode of sound is often experienced as a felt haunting in contrast to visually constructed information.

Re:Calling, Kelly + Jones 2014

As the two artists stand spaced apart there is a distance of decay in the sound that wraps their bodies and seeps into their bones before it is let go. The hollow of the chalk pit is approached as an echo chamber where sound travels until it runs out. The artists and the chalk rocks they stand upon are a mixture of long-term and-short term temporal hard features that cause the sound to be imperceptibly interrupted and redirected. The movement of air is forceful on the day of standing and the artists struggle to maintain balance against unpredictable channels that flap their clothing into mini sails. The calcium carbonate crystals in the ear instument that operate the balancing function are working hard to prevent an off-centre tilt upon the calcium carbonate of chalk rock. All sound is a sensate interaction but the gusts in the pit make it more evident as the wind rushes the ear canal and strikes against the body as a tuning fork, acoustically resonating and re-calling Kelly + Jones into action . When the sudden sonic disturbance of the wind is recalled in the stairwell it formulates through a sudden burst of energy which tosses lump chalk down the staircase in the video Re:Calling. The gesture recalls the energy of the elemental sound of wind as it buffered the bodies rather than the sound itself, but as the impact of the chalk on stone steps starts to reverse back towards its beginning the reverse-sound unexpectedly comes close to the sound of the wind forcing through the chalk pit during the artists' visit. It is not uncommon for reverberation to distort beyond legibility and Kelly + Jones are not invested in the decipherable aspects of writing and language and by dint the activities that surround their interdisciplinary thinking. Through acts of attention and evocation they would rather relate to writing-through-sound, writing a subject into being through processes closer to magic. "If the writer is a sorcerer, it is because writing is a becoming, writing is traversed by strange becomings that are not becomings-writer, but becomings-rat, becomings-insect, becomings-wolf"12.

For we are more than static.

The writing of this text is for Kelly + Jones an act of recalling and selective hearing. Sketch notes, soundbites, filmfootage and field notes, the ambience of the chalk pit are made manifest through the recalling of the performative presence of the chalky site. It is '...visible and felt, geographical and metaphorical, spatial and temporal, {recalling of}...action - the action of gathering or being gathered...'. Kelly + Jones connect their interdisciplinary work to Tess Denman-Cleaver's understanding of interacting and being situated within a landscape as a way to question "what the activity of performance is, and what performance does when it is in dialogue with place" (Denman-Cleaver 216-219). They further link their thinking to the notion of sonic ghosting through performed actions informed and intuited via site with a corporeal attention to sound which acknowledges the body and space as mutual conduits and carriers of complex layers of sound-visions. The textural layering of performed actions and sounds create "...multiple modalities, temporarily, memories, experiences and sound spaces - that sonic ghosting attempts to embody in its practice, and deploy in its interrogation of the relationship between space/place/memory and sound/music/noise. A chalk boulder provides the membrane of a landscape and soundscape for it allows some things to pass through but denies others. A sonic rupturing occurs forming "interconnections that weave together the imaginative life and the expressions of the land" (Lacey 2016), which can be achieved by deliberately "rupturing the soundscape of the present with the echos phantoms and potentialities of the soundscapes of the past/future, it explores the spaces in-between..." (Heeny 45-46). Their bodily haunting of the site, creating ghosting sonic interactions through interplay with the site and each other brings Kelly + Jones towards the potential for what might be.

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Fig 7 Untitled. Image credit: Kelly + Jones, 2015

The chalk boulder is warm and welcoming to the skin's touch as both surfaces share their absorbed heat from the day as they contour each other. Whilst laying on the boulder and feeling the density of the chalk small particles of powder crumble and travel in gravitational lines. They drift down the side, sifting over the cracks, curving at the edges of change, rolling down the side of the body. Time stretches, time condenses. Friable past life moves in dust falls, present life moves it through the friction of fingertips as the potentiality of future life (also revealed through sonic resonance and a heartbeat) is held there in the expectant body of Jones. Small fragments of time find rhythm in a single finely powdered line and the direct textural encounter magnifies the minutae traces of movement creating visual soundscapes in the artist's mind. Through the outlined body-rock a curve is rendered that arcs to the camera's eye. Sylvie Vitaglione writes in Field Perceptions, of how artists' bodies give into the horizontality of landscapes and embrace the contours of the ground, while the camera looks for that point of collision between surfaces (Vitaglione 94-111).

The research in the quarry and since has begun to transform the way Kelly + Jones look at, and engage with sites through the sensate qualities of their own bodies in relation to writing. This particularly extends to sound-as-writing, which is inceasingly raising its volume within their thinking. Jones and Stephenson suggest '...the performance of the body as an artistic practice is a mode of textual inscription' (8) for Kelly + Jones this notation extends to sound and orchestration of "the body (as the corporeal enactment of the subject) is known and experienced only through its emergent performances - whether presented 'live' in photographs, videos, films, on the computer screen... meaning is a process of engagement and never dwells in any one place" (Jones and Stephenson 8).

The collaborative work reconsiders writing as a dynamic visual and lived encounter. Retracing contours, experiencing the sounds of the environment in which a discovery of visceral and aural archaeology is made. It is an explicitly participatory and immersive practice that places emphasis on the experience and the temporality of it. Practitioner Tim Etchells reflects on the process of making as 'an event that unfolds and unravels'. (Georgi 2014 211). As the research enquiry develops Kelly + Jones explore how to physically negotiate a form of ambient conversation with each other. As they echo and ditto each other's breath and movement, they become intuitive to each other's thoughts, pauses, humms and silences. The discourse with each other, and with the site reinforces the potency of the physicality of sound and its spaces through dialogue and potential for the audibility of the site.

For we are more than lines.

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Fig 8 Cherry Hinton Chalk Pit 1937(Courtesy of the Cambridgeshire Collection re: 51040140007) and Hauntings, Kelly + Jones, Photo credit Julian Hughes for Kelly + Jones 2014

Through different live gestures and artefact works such as video, photography and sculpture Kelly + Jones create loops and feedbacks through performative acts that feel deliberately incomplete. Their commitment to process means the walk appears to continue off the edge of the screen, the edge of the page. Looping video footage provides a sense of continuum where their bodies and performative thinking and acting in the site is not bound to a linear sense of a recording of time. It becomes a circulation of many things that are arguably beyond the ability of a fixed document to convey such as felt sound, emotional perspectives in development, yet-to-activate dormancies and unexpected emergences.

The image of an explosion of chalk in the quarry from 1937 echoes in the work of Kelly + Jones as a ghostly sonic re-connection between the past and the present. Over time the blast of volume from a detonation transitions into the hush of bare feet repeatedly treading stone steps as lump chalk is carried up and down. There is a sonic event that displaces material. Lines of dust, lines of site and 'lines that are between the lines of writing' (Deleuze and Guattari 215) are suspended for a brief moment in time. Airborne formations, dust lines and lifelines that are disrupted, ruptured and displaced - up, up and slowly, over time, falling back down to form new lines of settlement. New lines of variation of writing. Lines that cannot hold straight. For we are made of lines. Lines that are activated, reverberating as Kelly + Jones write and re-write folding the lines back into and out of the discourse on the excavation of site and sound.

This text is driven by a poetic impulse to draw and re-draw the parameters for ambient encounters. Kelly + Jones' practice continues to reverberate in between the lines of writing on this digitised page. In between are their lifelines carried upon their flesh that touches and is touched upon by the pen, the camera that is listening. They reach out and invite the hand of the reader to re-activate their documentation on this screen. The reader is now the conductor, following the score that plays back the embedded documentation situated in between the writing that scrolls over the digitised page. Lines of coding bond together these words with images and sound, building yet more surfaces, revealing a digital line with its wavelength conjugated with other forms of lines. Lines of analogue, of dialogue, of practice and of resonance through and from an infinite sending, downloading, and re-sending of information in order to re-call, re-do, re-write and re-line.

For we are more than lines.

Works Cited

Castricano, Jodey. Cryptomemisis: The Gothic and Jacques Derrida's Ghost Writing. McGill-Queen's University Press. Montreal and Kingston London: Ithaca, 2001, p30.

Bohm, D. On Dialogue. London: Routledge. 2004, p6.

Bohm, David. "Intorduction". Bohm Dialgoue: A radically new vision of dialogue. David Bohm Society, April 2019, www.bohmdialogue.org/#bohmdialogue.

Vitaglione, Sylvie. "Field Perceptions. New Materials and natural elements and the body in screendance".The International Journal of Screendance.* Vol 6,* 2016, pp94-111.

Denman-Cleaver, Tess. Landscape Performance: The development of a performance philosophy practice. 2018, pp216-219.

Fisher, Mark. "What Is Hauntology?" Film Quarterly, vol. 66, no. 1, 2012, pp. 16-24. 

Gardiner, M. Critiques of everyday life. London: Routledge, 2000.

Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus, Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Translation Massumi, Brian, Continuum, 2004, p215.

Georgi, Claudia. Liveness on stage - Intermedial Challenges in Contemporary British Theatre and Performance, De Gruyter, 2004, p211.

Heeney, Gwen. The Post-Industrial Landscape as Site for Creative Practice: Material Memory, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017.

Ingold, Tim. Being Alive Essays on Movement Knowledge and Description. Routledge, 2011.

Jones, A., and Stephenson, A,. eds., Performing the body/performing the text. London: Routledge, 1999, p8.

Kaye, Nick. Site-Specific Art: Performance, Place and Documentation. Routledge, 2000, p188.

Kwon, M. One Place after Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity. Massechutsettes: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2002, p214.

Lacey, J. Sonic Rupture. A Practice-led Approach to Urban Soundscape Design. Bloomsbury, 2017.

Romdenh-Romluc, K. Routledge philosophy guidebook to Merleau-Ponty and phenomenology of perception. London: Routledge, 2000.

Stacey Sewell. "Listening Inside Out: Notes on an embodied analysis". Performance Research, 15:3, 2010, pp60-65

Credits: First draft feedback Laurel Jay Carpenter and Sheila Jones.


  1. These two chalk quarries once provided hard chalk to build Cambridge University colleges and lime for cement. Today they support a variety of habitats that harbour some rare plants and insects. Quarrying finished in Lime Kiln Close approximately 200 years ago. Nature has reclaimed the site and woodland has developed. The scrub habitat in these pits provides nesting and feeding sites for more than 60 species of bird. In 2009 an archaeological excavation was carried out at East Pit. See issuu.com/wtbcncomms/docs/eastpitarchaeology_report. This nature reserve is part of the Cambridgeshire Chalk Living Landscape.   

  2. Ambient generally refers to multiple environmental factors such as light, temperature and sound. Whilst all these aspects constitute directional pulls in the work of Kelly + Jones this writing is shaped by attention to ambient sound that denotes the site-specific background sound component providing locational atmosphere and special information of space. The artists draw attention to the complex relationships between sound and site, of reconstructing atmosphere and drawing locations together. 

  3. Kelly + Jones had a two week residency in 2014 for The Drawing Board curated by Dr Michael Pinchbeck. The Drawing Board was a space for handwritten performances that aims to turn a corridor into a destination and to return the walls of an old school building in Nottingham to their former use as a place of display. The Drawing Board explores how we write, how we perform writing and how writing performs. Curated as part of the public programme of Primary Artist Studios in Nottingham. 

  4. Davis, C. (2005) Ét at Présent: Hauntology, Spectres and Phantoms. French Studies Vol. 59, No.3 Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for French Studies. Hauntology is a word coined by Derrida to supplant ontology with intention to bring the figure of the ghost and ghostliness into cultural inquiry. It is not a belief in the paranormal, rather as a positioning of 'being' as neither absent or present, alive nor dead but located in a series of simultaneous existences in relation to otherness. The idea of hauntology underpins the terms of Kelly + Jones post-feminist investigations into site and writing via the unfixed feminine. 

  5. Slavoj Žizek asserts: 'An encounter cannot be reduced to symbolic exchange: what resonates in it, over and above the symbolic exchange, is the echo of a traumatic impact. While dialogues are common place, encounters are rare.' Organs Without Bodies: on Deleuze and Consequences. New York, London, Routledge. p. x. 

  6. This documentation is not electronic field recordings that offer the possibility of repetition and composition. It is live experience embedded in body memory, nerve ends and vibrating bones. The embodied experience of sound gives conceptual framework to gestural reworkings within the partner site which are fallible and distorted but retain intention. 

  7. Sound travels faster in solids and liquids than it does in gases. This brings into play the corporeal and visceral factors of blood and bone, which undeniably interact with sound differently than the atmospheric carrier of oxygen. 

  8. The terms fragile and precarious refer to the relationship Kelly + Jones have with the site as one that is fragile wildlife, plant/life forms that are to be protected and guarded. It also makes references to the physical fragility of Kelly + Jones working in a site that has a level of risk to their wellbeing - avoiding holes, cracks, cliff edges and slippery surfaces from shifting weather conditions. 

  9. Deleuze, G and Guattari, F; Translated by Brian Massumi, 2004 edition. A Thousand Plateaus, Capitalism and Schizophrenia. London, New York, Continuum. P.265 The Deleuzian term 'becoming-animal' is about the formation of packs and groups that threaten established orders. This underpins the artists' post-feminist context and their refusal to separate out sound from writing and feeling from hearing. And in relation to their writing-as-site inquiry Deleuze admonishes us to 'Stop writing, or write like a rat' further elucidating, 'If the writer is a sorcerer, it is because writing is a becoming, writing is traversed by strange becomings that are not becomings-writer but becomings-rat, becomings-insect, becomings-wolf'. 

  10. The term virtuality and the virtual are being used in a Deleuzian sense where it is a process of continuation, a mobility, as the fold is a continuum where outside is folded in and inside is developed out. As Bela Egyed explains ' Virtual is Deleuze's name for the mobile difference of heterogenous multiplicities - for dynamic being. Actual beings do not, in his view, have separate existence apart from this virtual being. They are, simply, temporal phases in the process of its eternal actualisation.' Ed. BOUNDAS, C. 2006 edition. Deleuze and Philosophy. Edinburgh University Press. P 81 

  11. An exception is Re:Calling where in tandem with the visual material the audio is reversed to create an unsettling experience of the memory falling into fallibility and decay, yet gaining an alternative strange power. 

  12. Deleuze, G and Guattari, F; Translated by Brian Massumi, 2004 edition. A Thousand Plateaus, Capitalism and Schizophrenia. London, New York, Continuum. P.265