The K-Scope and James Kay's amazing Subterranean workshop
Turton Tower K-Scope Image (c) Lee Pilkington
Owl Project invite people to enter an imaginary space where fact and fiction combine, where technology develops on a tangential path to the one we see around us, encouraging reflection on our own technologically mediated world. For this commission Owl Project have created two elements that link the Tower and the garden; inside a wooden analogue computer that weaves light and three fantastic listening horns exhibited in the Tower’s gardens.
After visiting Turton Tower, Owl Project were intrigued by certain elements of the tower’s history. In particular, rumours of secret tunnels and the work of, inventor, James Kay.
Inspired by James Kay’s inventions, Owl Project drew an analogue with current technological developments; the path from weaving and early machine programming to modern computers, fibre optic communication, and even optical computing. Owl Project in effect connect these two different eras by replacing Flax with Light as a raw material. In terms of Owl Project practice, this new machine weaves sound from light in a similar way that ~Flow, based on a floating water mill, ‘milled’ data into sound instead of grain into flour.
Owl Project also became fascinated by the notion that James Kay had developed a series of tunnels and maybe a workshop underneath the Tower. This is not as fanciful as it might sound as the Loom riots forced contemporary inventors to hide their machines throughout their houses then so might Kay. What is in this catacomb we wondered? Owl Project’s listening horns invite you to have a listen and imagine for yourselves.