Control Over Nature
Tessa Farmer and Amon Tobin
15 September – 6 October, 2012


Opening Reception: Saturday, September 15th, 6-8 pm

Spencer Brownstone Gallery is pleased to present Control Over Nature, an exhibition by Tessa Farmer in collaboration with an acoustical installation by Amon Tobin.
For her second show at the gallery, Tessa has teamed up with Amon Tobin to mark his September 14th performance at New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom. With his groundbreaking audio/visual live show ISAM 2.0, the electronic music pioneer joined forces with Farmer for an extraordinary collaborative installation combining his sound design and elements from 'ISAM', alongside Farmer's trademark sculptures (constructed from bits of organic material, such as roots, dead insects and bones). Hovering with a rarefied, jewel-like beauty, Tessa's tiny spectacles resound with a theurgist exotica: their specimen forms evolve as something alien and futuristic. The collaboration perfectly captures the themes surrounding 'ISAM': sensory deprivation, disorienting situationism and the mechanization of natural things.
"There is common ground between Tessa and I" says Amon, "we're both re-arranging and augmenting natural elements to make something imagined but tangible. We are both exploring new uses for familiar materials, or in Tessa's case familiar creatures. I'm trying to take an objective approach to all my source material, whether it's field recording or synthesis based or a mixture of the two. I'm treating it all as musically/creatively relevant and useful."
Tessa's work is featured heavily throughout the 'ISAM' campaign as a whole, with the album artwork being dedicated to her creatures: "ISAM is beautiful, surprising, playful, disturbing and unnerving at times. It has an incredible energy, to which I am responding to instinctively, conjuring scenes that reflect the varying moods of the tracks. The scenes are action packed, but frozen in motion - to be animated by the viewer's imagination and Amon's music."

This exhibition is co-produced by Spencer Brownstone Gallery & Ninja Tune.

Artist Bio

Tessa Farmer was born in Birmingham, England in 1978. After receiving her MFA from the Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford in 2003, her work was included in the 2004 edition of the 'Bloomberg New Contemporaries', where her large scale installation 'Swarm' was acquired by Charles Saatchi. She has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Oxford in 2006, and at the National History Museum, London, in 2007, which was accompanied by the publication of a monograph. She has also exhibited at the Museum Villa Rot, Burgrieden, DE; The Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania, AU; The Museum of Art and Design, New York, NY; and the Royal British Society of Sculptors, London, UK.

Amon Tobin first emerged in 1994 with a string of 12 singles on a small London-based record label called 9Bar Records. The album that followed, 'Adventures In Foam', paved the way for a whole generation of electronic productions and prompted his signing to the prodigious Ninja Tune in 1996. He has since gone on to record seven critically acclaimed albums under his own name on Ninja that have since helped define the label as a force in musical innovation and diversity. In 2007 he released the album 'Foley Room' exploring the role of found sound in modern day music culminating in a much-lauded performance at the birthplace of musique concrete, the GRM Theatre in Paris. In 2010 The famed London Metropolitan Orchestra performed selected works from a cross-section of his musical repertoire at the Royal Albert Hall and his most recent work includes, ISAM, a new Two Fingers album, and an album of remixes of his Chaos Theory soundtrack work.