Oh Dear Me
w/ Sue Huang
Dundee, Scotland
November 12, 2016

A series of musicians are situated along a path winding through the historic jute mills of the Blackness area of Dundee, Scotland. When participants type a message at computer consoles on either end, their words are encoded via rearranged fragments of the “Jute Mill Song,” a folk work written in 1920 by Dundee mill worker and labor activist Mary Brooksbank. The musicians subsequently pass the music to one another by ear until the message is decoded on the opposite terminal. Along the way, the melodies reverberate in the urban spaces associated with Dundee’s industrial past and connect historical textile production with the contemporary labor of computation.

Commission: NEoN Digital Arts Festival. Musicians: Ana Romero, Arin Grattidge, Colette Colman, Emily Stokes, Joey O’Neil, Jordan Robertson, Kenny Letham, Marcus Shanks, Rebecca Wilson, Scott Kerr. Documentation: Bonnie Brae Productions. Thanks: Donna Holford-Lovell, Dan Faichney, Anna Murray.