Jem Finer is a UK-based artist, musician and composer. Since studying computer science in the 1970s, he has worked in a variety of fields, including photography, film, experimental and popular music and installation. His 1000 year long musical composition, Longplayer, represents a convergence of many of his concerns, particularly those relating to systems, long-durational processes and extremes of scale in both time and space. Among his other works is Score For a Hole In the Ground, a permanent, self-sustaining musical installation in a forest in Kent which relies only on gravity and the elements to be audible. Between 2003 and 2005 he was artist in residence in the astrophysics department of Oxford University, making a number of works including two sculptural observatories, Landscope and The Centre of the Universe.
Recent work, focusing on his interest in long-term sustainability and the reconfiguring of older technologies, includes Spiegelei, a 360-degree spherical camera obscura, Kung Fu Pinball, a pinball machine modified to auto-compose music, and Slowplayer a 3 r.p.m. sound system. Supercomputer, a sculptural machine composing minimal musical scores, opened in Cambridge in June 2014.
Responding to an invitation to spend a year in one place, Jem Finer's '51º 30’ 44” N, 0º 0’ 38" E' is a sonic exploration from the location of his studio at Trinity Buoy Wharf. Listening and looking eastwards, at the point where the rivers Lea and Thames meet, it draws on field recordings, musical compositions and films made during all hours of day and night over the course of 12 months. Encompassing the cycles of the seasons and temporal, meteorological and astronomical shifts, the work is presented as a looping film in which the dimension of sound is given priority over the visual.
'51º 30’ 44” N, 0º 0’ 38" E’ was composed, performed, recorded, filmed, edited, directed and produced by Jem Finer at Trinity Buoy Wharf and curated and produced by Steven Bode of FVU and Gareth Evans.
Supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation. FVU is supported by Arts Council England.
<Photo by Michaela Freeman