Progress Music

South Kiosk, London
(3 — 25 October 2014)


"In the Golden Age, progress music was heard in the background by nearly everybody. The first phone, the first car, the first house, the first summer holiday, the first TV — all to progress music. Then the arrival of sexual intercourse, in 1966, and the full ascendancy of the children of the Golden Age" - Martin Amis 

Amis refers to the term ‘progress music’ as a form of commercial, amateur and state valourisation that followed the ‘children of the Golden Age'. A march into the future, accompanied by a brassy soundtrack filled with triumphalism, befitting to the growth of post-war England in its societal and technological revolutions.

For Progress Music, South Kiosk has commissioned a new sound and film work by artist James Bulley. The piece draws on archive film material that was once broadcast across the screens of the nation, in an attempt to demonstrate the changes that were occurring in architecture, industry and culture, shown through a generative, film and sound installation. The rhythm of the film is defined according to the behaviour of an ever-changing sound score, which composes the film in real-time from a repository of thousands of archival fragments. The 9-channel installation is presented in such a way that the viewer becomes positioned within the material, as opposed to merely a spectator of footage from a bygone era. 

With thanks to;
Dave Charlesworth,
Philip Serfaty,
Havva Basto,
Arron Smith (Artists & Engineers),
Daniel Jones.