Needles and Pigs 1: The Sound Stitcher

Mary Stark sings a song while she attaches loops of film strips to a wire washing line spanned between the speakers. Coming from a generation of textile factory workers in Manchester she continues the heritage of her mother and grandmother with artistic means. An almost historic silver grey „Pfaff“ sits on a table on the stage. Mary Stark, member of the Octopus collective, says her work is „stiching sound“. She tells us about the incredible noise that was permeating the work halls where the women toiled for long hours, and that singing was prohibited then, by the threat of severe fines or even loosing work.



The surrounding sounds evoke this noise scape: there is the shuffling of the movie projector, the V-belt of the sewing machine, the sound of the needle puncturing the tapes as she sews them together. In between she takes measures on people in the audience, moves back and fro between sewing table and projectors, mostly it is her silhouette we see…

The scene is all shimmering (the tapes reflecting the light beams) and shadow play and movement. The projected structures formed by the newly sewn together tapes put on reel are swiftly moving dots and mesh structures and diagonal squares.  Somehow a feeling creeps across that we are sitting in a light box with a factory nymph putting on slides at a pace to fast for the eyes to follow. At the end, the light is switched off.