Corin Sworn: Habits of Assembly (3 stars)

This article is from 2019

Corin Sworn: Habits of Assembly

credit: Keith Hunter

New work on the intertwined nature of technology and the human body

The usually bright and airy sculpture court at Edinburgh College of Art feels very intimate, almost claustrophobic, as it hosts this new commission by Corin Sworn for the Edinburgh Art Festival. A metal structure houses video and sound pieces: one video depicts two performers in near-darkness, their silhouettes illuminated only slightly by their white outfits as they perform their respective sequences, and the accompanying sound flickers between classical music and white noise. The second video depicts the same two performers in a well-lit room where their movements are clear, and the sound is heightened too; even their footsteps can be heard. The whole viewing experience is highly sensory and jars at points; what looks like a synchronised dance routine can suddenly resemble a scratched DVD, each time the performers break the fluidity of their movements and repeat one action over and over, as if their bodies have suddenly become controlled by something other than themselves.

The centre of the structure contains a sound piece: a conversation between two people about tasks and roles. The performers in the videos can be seen to embody this notion; undertaking a task (to carry out their movements), and their roles are changed by the absence/presence of certain technologies (light, sound) which is something Sworn is intrigued by; the intertwined nature of technology and the human body.

Edinburgh College of Art, until 25 Aug, free.

Corin Sworn: Habits of Assembly

  • 3 stars

Corin Sworn (lives and works in Glasgow) is interested in the way in which the increasing entanglement of technology with the human body is profoundly affecting the way we navigate the world externally, as well as allowing us to explore the previously invisible interior structures of our bodies. Sited in Edinburgh College…