Stephen Cornford


    Constant Linear Velocity (2016)

A kinetic sculpture for used computer cases with automated and amplified optical disc drives. The title of the work describes the playback of a compact disc: a system in which the further from the centre the laser moves the disc faster the disc has to spin in order to maintain a consistent audio signal. Here the technical facts of the compact disc are applied to our rapacious appetite for digital technologies, which are not to be as immaterial as we have been sold. While our technical progress may appear to be constant and linear to the listener, the cycles of purchase and disposal spin at ever faster rates towards the edge of the disc.

Exhibted at:
Colour Out of Space Festival, Phoenix Gallery, Brighton (2016)
Audiograft Festival, OVADA, Oxford (2017)
Last Words, So It Goes, TURF Projects, Croydon (2017)
Detritus Festival, Onassis Cultural Center, Athens (2018)
Le Bon Accueil, Rennes (2018)

"My first, and as it turns out only, physical encounter with Constant Linear Velocity was in the context of Detritus, a 3-day festival at the OCC, curated by Yannis Kotsonis. Situated on the building’s 4th-floor foyer, it stood as a totemic construction at first glance: dozens of meticulously cleaned and stacked up computer cases, reaching all the way to the ceiling. Its sounds denoted another, more fragile and transient layer of presence. This assemblage of disused equipment emitted a complex and unsettling pulsation: long stretches of stillness interrupted by moments of increasingly erratic density. CD trays sticking out and quietly retreating; like exhausted mechanical tongues, in anticipation of an ever-suspended finishing line.

Our everyday objects, the instruments that serve as the infrastructure to our increasingly immaterial cultures, appear animate when functional, then cumbersome and uncanny when stripped of their use. When we acknowledge them as failing, when we allow ourselves to fail with them, the divide between subjects and objects becomes blurrier. Then something of our own machinations begins to unravel. We are only as real as our technologies."
Danae Stefanou