QUOIN 4 (2018)
Richard Skelton Front Variations
Worldwide coordination of glacier monitoring began in 1894 with the creation of the Commission Internationale des Glaciers (CIG), now the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), but the monitoring of individual glaciers, such as Leirufjarðarjökull in Iceland, began as early as 1840. The long-term aim of such endeavours was to gain insight into the processes of climate change.
Quoin 4 presents a combination of data sourced from the WGMS along with aerial photographs from the US Naval Oceanographic Office to highlight ice-sheet recession over the past 100 years and more. ‘Front variation’ refers to the recorded difference in position of a glacier’s front edge – a positive figure indicates glacier advance, whereas a negative figure indicates glacier retreat.
The music that accompanies this volume of Quoin was composed using only sine waves – the purest and simplest periodic oscillations or tones. These tones were then subjected to increasing amounts of feedback in order to simulate the so-called ice-albedo feedback mechanism. This is the process whereby the action of melting glaciers reduces the global surface area of ice, thereby reducing the amount of solar radiation that glaciers reflect, which in turn increases global temperatures and causes further glacial melting. Ring modulation and distortion were also used to further deteriorate the sound signal.
Quoin is the exclusive publication for friends and patrons of Corbel Stone Press. To find out more, visit:
Still Glides the Stream (2014).
Erasures, loss and lacunae in Wordsworth’s Duddon Sonnets.
More info here.
A personal archaeology. Images rescued from a dying hard-drive, c. 2007-8.
‘I am north of where I was. Go north. That was
the imperative. Always north. Although the why
of it is no longer clear.’
A wounded man in a fugue state hides out in a deserted north-country shieling, convinced that he is pursued. Over the days and weeks that follow, as no one comes to claim him, his mind turns from his pursuers to the hills themselves, and their other-than-human inhabitants. Gradually he is caught up in a drama that can have only one conclusion.
‘As if Samuel Beckett had written The Goshawk’
Central to the book is a map of northern England which has a real-life existence, and can be examined in detail via the National Library of Scotland.
Originally produced in a highly limited hardcover edition by Corbel Stone Press, The Look Away is now available in paperback from via the new imprint, Xylem Books. Copies are available from Corbel Stone Press, or through bookstores.
‘The Look Away is a bold, poetic meditation on the power of nature to forget, to erase the past, and to renew, even if that renewal is unforgiving and indiscriminate. I have rarely read anything so emotionally compelling in so unusual a form.’ (Brian Lavelle)
Richard has provided the soundtrack to an exhibition by photographer Joseph Wright at the Grizedale Centre, Cumbria:
Cubby’s Tarn Exhibition
Grizedale Forest Centre
Nr. Hawkshead, Cumbria
18th October – 31st December 2017
Dissolve Our Maps
Julian Hyde has been tracking the unregarded edgelands of that jewel in England’s crown, the Lake District, for over ten years – picking over the frayed seams and exposing the cracks that Cumbria’s tourist industry would rather you didn’t discover. This short film presents isolated fragments of Hyde’s decade-long walk to nowhere, tracing and retracing an elliptical path along the ‘unseen realm between the main road and the church’, recapitulating in his own words an oblique narrative of hope and despair, clarity and blurred vision(s).
‘No Frontier’ is a short film exploring the psychological effects of travel, climate change, remoteness and isolation. Filmed on the eastern fringes of Iceland during a time when the artist had no permanent address, it is a travelogue of motionless, lingering images that are ambivalent in tone and entirely devoid of human figures. The film’s sense of unease is compounded by a series of captioned, first-person texts, adapted from the Poetic Edda, which essay a kind of psychological disturbance that is both deeply personal and reflective of a more widespread cultural trauma. ‘No Frontier’ was produced for ‘Frontiers in Retreat’ – an international artist residency programme exploring multidisciplinary approaches to ecology in contemporary art.
In Pursuit of the Eleventh Measure
‘In Pursuit of the Eleventh Measure’ is a short film drawing elliptical threads between Scandinavian water folklore, religion and Iceland’s hydro-electricity industry. Filmed in Seyðisfjorður, Iceland, the soundtrack is composed of various recordings from Fjarðarselsvirkjun, the fjord’s power plant. ‘Eleventh Measure’ was produced for ‘Frontiers in Retreat’ – an international artist residency programme exploring multidisciplinary approaches to ecology in contemporary art.
Richard has created an evolving, multi-channel composition for Atlas Arts, responding to the landscape, weather and deep history of the isle of Skye.
More info here.
Isle of Skye
07 – 23 September 2017