Visit from Uruguayan artist Brian Mackern

Well now we are getting into our as yet untitled memorial project, we have been looking at various ways to bring it to life. This week we had an artist called Brian Mackern join us to explain a bit of what he did. He’s from Montevideo in Uruguay which he told us a little about, leading onto his time as a radio operator in a lighthouse. This gave rise to his current work turning atmospheric interference on radio signals in concert pieces. Sounds a bit mad but he showed a video of one of his concerts and it was like the start of a Pink Floyd track! Boss! As my background is electronics and this is the avenue I’m looking at going down for my art it was really quite intriguing. Using modified walky talkies and motion sensitive cameras (as well as a host of other kit) he alter the signals to create his desired effect. Clever stuff. Then there was the banquet that was brought up for lunch from the cafe and to my surprise and delight they had even managed to source some meat for the sandwiches. I think the girls were showing off to our new foreign friend but the butties were nice and the cakes could of given you diabetes so everyone was happy. I had a good chat with Brian over a smoke outside. At first I was naturally wary as the last Uruguayan we had in this city had a penchant for biting people but this one I’m pleased to report seemed sound (possible because of how much there was to eat haha).
After lunch we looked at his other area of interest – mapping. Not traditional cartography to say the least and the point of making unorthodox connections highlighted the fact that we all map patterns in our day to day lives. From a skyline represented in a soundtrack on vinyl to traffic patterns represented by amplitude there was certainly food for thought and the guys looking at the map for our memorials project got some useful ideas too.
All in all an interesting and thought provoking day! Cheers Brian!
Jay Bell

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