Three Days Chthonic

Four artist’s one engineer and three days and two nights underground.

Alan Smith, Louise K Wilson, John Bowers, Tim Shaw and Peter Mathews will enter Smallcleugh mine in Nenthead, Cumbria to settle into the vast cavern cut out of solid limestone by the lead miners; now known as the Ballroom.

The Ballroom gets its name from an event that that took place on September the 2nd 1901 when around 30 local people travelled into the mine for a village dinner party and dance.

The five will be faced with the challenge of not only existing in in this extreme environment for 72 hours, but will also be challenged to produce sufficient electricity for the production of works that will respond to the place through their overall experience.

On the 3rd day licensed mine guides will bring an audience down to Ballroom to view the results and meet the artists.

Peter Mathews

Peter has a degree in Natural Environmental Engineering and an MSc in Renewable Energy from Newcastle University.

For chthonic Peter has been investigating ways of generating electricity down the mine from its limited resources.

One possibility being considered is hydro electric, generated in kit form, using a Francis Turbine eminently suitable for 3D printing; it would be taken into the mine in its component parts then assembled down the mine.

Francis Turbine prototype created by Peter Mathews and Tim Shaw

John Bowers

John Bowers is an artist-researcher working within Culture Lab with a particular interest in the use of art and design-led methods (Research Through Design) to explore digital technologies and novel interaction concepts. He also works as a sound artist improvising with electronic, digital, acoustic and electro-mechanical devices and self-made instruments in performance and installation settings, typically accompanied by live digital image. His work is often grounded in field research methods drawn from the social sciences (ethnography, interaction analysis) and related to theoretical and practical issues in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), design research, material culture, media archeology and critical theory. He leads Culture Lab's research on Digital Media.

Tim Shaw

Tim Shaw has worked internationally as an artist, performer, sound designer and researcher. His practice is situated within media art and draws upon soundscape and electroacoustic composition, performance making and DIY technology.He is currently studying a PhD in Digital Media at Culture Lab alongside managing Newcastle based record label Triptik. Collaboration plays a central role in his approach, he has been lucky enough to make artistic work with Chris Watson, John Bowers and Sébastien Piquemal. Shaw has presented work in various venues worldwide including Café OTO, NIME, NK Projekt, ZDB and FACT Liverpool.

Louise K Wilson

Louise K Wilson is a visual artist who makes installations, live works, sound works and single channel videos. Processes of research are central to her practice and she frequently involves the participation of individuals from industry, museums, medicine and the scientific community in the making of work. Previous associations have included the Montreal Neurological Institute, the Science Museum, the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training facility in Moscow, the RSPB and the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

Alan Smith

Alan is artist, co-founder and creative director of ACA and author of As Above so Below.

Since moving to Allenheads in 1994, influential to Alans’ practice has been the evolving profile of the physical and cultural landscape of the post industrial (lead mining) landscape of the North Pennines.

As Above So Below


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