Seismograf · leon clowes: Secrets Keep Us Sick but Pop Music Brings Us Closer
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Days of Future Past

Project type

Audio collage


June 2023, January 2022, December 2021, December, September, June and April 2020


WORM Rotterdam (Netherlands) , Kaamos Radio (Finland), Datscha Radio (Berlin), CCA Gallery's Radiophrenia Festival (Glasgow), WIP Gallery (London), Transmissions II Gallery (Manchester), Queer Contemporaries (Manchester), Reel Rebels Radio (London)

This was the first artwork I made re-engaging with practice after nearly 30 years. A 90 minute audio collage of (s)hero demos, visceral voice pieces and electro-cabaret songs I made in the late 1980s, this paranoid catharsis was made at the beginning of lockdown.

Premiered on Reel Rebels Radio in April 2020, this longform work, and extracts of it, have been included in UK and European radio festivals and online galleries. Its an exploration of lived grief and loss from being born into a traumatised kinship care setting, and growing up gay during the AIDS crisis.

Taking its title from the 1981 Marvel Comics' Uncanny X-Men story of the same name, this comic book gave me nightmares for months. Turned out, on re-reading much more recently, this story had weirdly prescient timeline parallels in predicting the societal conditions that warped my teenage sexuality (the introduction of Section 28 of 1988), and the most significant revelation in my life (my mother telling me my father's identity on her deathbed in 2013), which allowed for the beginning of quantum healing of my family origins, and for my creative life to begin again.

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