Installations at OVADA


Opening times: THU – SUN 12 – 6PM


OVADA / 14A Osney Ln, Oxford OX1 1NJ


A kinetic sculpture for used computer cases with automated and amplified optical disc drives. The mechanical gesture of a CD or DVD tray opening and closing concisely performs its function as an intermediary between physical and digital space. The addition of a copper coil to each drive enables them to perform their obsolescence aloud. The work is both a monument to the lost physicality of our media formats, and a reminder of the persistent physicality of digital technologies. Each empty metal case has the dimensions of an individual’s digital space, evidencing the waste implicit therein.

AUGENMUSIK by Stephen Cornford

A seven screen video installation of the lasers in optical disc drives. The infra-red wavelength of laser used in CD and DVD technologies is invisible to the human eye and yet, when focused, powerful enough to do permanent damage to our sight. The lasers here repeatedly attempt ot focus on the digital image sensor which records them and renders them as visible light. Oscillating between camera apertures and glowing irises the work mediates this hazardous light for our eyes, bridging the incompatabilities of human and machine vision.

Stephen Cornford is an audio-visual artist working between installation and performance. His practice is concerned with reconfiguring consumer electronics as expressive and reflective devices. Stephen has had solo exhibitions in Tokyo, Berlin, Brighton, Bergen, Ljubljana & London and presented in group exhibtions at the ZKM Center for Art & Media, Karlsruhe; ICC, Tokyo; Haus der Electronische Kunst, Basel; Sigma Foundation, Venice and at Bienalles in Lodz and Poznan. 


SHELL by Harriet Butler

Intimately set, Shell attends to the sounding of vibrant connections held within and without the spaces of our imaginations and memories, and the places in which we live. It engages with the craft of storytelling by devising new means of association for its reception, retention and continuation. Shell seeks to act as a conceptual mouthpiece to explore origins, home, fragility, and ephemerality. Situated within its structure is the voice of Beresford Peeling (known as Berry): an octogenarian potter, artist, and sailor recounting moments from his life. You are welcome to sit or stand inside the structure and listen to his words.

Harriet Butler is a composer, performer and sound artist. She explores practices in field recording, experimental and electroacoustic writing. She is preoccupied by the idea of objects [that] perform[ing], and their implicit sculptural integrity.


MEANWHILE, by Yann Leguay & Gaetan Rusquet

Meanwhile, is a protean project that can take the form of a performance or an installation. The device presented here consists in the real-time reception of data from some thirty seismographs distributed over the earth and connected to the Geoscope network. The data thus processed are sent to the structure. The amplitude of the vibrations depends directly on the power of the earthquakes that are constantly under our feet.

HARDWARE by Yann Leguay

In Spring 2013 in the village of Seydisfjordur, Iceland, this series of stones representing computing symbols was engraved manually with a utility knife. Gleaned randomly on the fjord, then scraped for many hours to get the desired shape, these stones were destined to be scattered again in the environment. A series of 8 stones was then placed back where they were found, so a walker could stumble upon them and face an archaeological contradiction. Here are a few specimens.

Stück für stöcke by Yann Leguay

With Stück für Stöcke, Yann Leguay virtualy replaced with a piece of wood the tablets and phones held by game players in youtube videos. All that remains is the player’s finger gestures. The removal of the usual visual references reminds us of that interfaces are of little use without our own movements. Something that has always been clear to a tech industry obsessed with identifying every single gesture that can be patented and monetized.

TEST TONE by Yann Leguay

Test Tone consists of a vinyl record and a record player whose respective motions have been reversed. The player, arm and stylus revolve around the static record in order to create a 1000hz Test Tone frequency. The role reversal here suggests a Dadaist impulse and the contradictory deconstruction of utility proposes a remodification of the perceptual expectations of sound in relation to the materiality from which it arises.


Brussels-based sound artist Yann Leguay , defined as a media saboteur, seeks to fold the sound materiality in on itself using basic means in the form of objects and videos or during his installations and performances presented in various venues in Europe and beyond. His Phonotopy label proposes a conceptual approach to recording media and he also curates the DRIFT series on the Artkillart label which overlays several grooves onto a single record, causing randomised playback.