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Buttress O'Kneel Audiobok

Buttress O'Kneel
Audiobox, 2020
Sound work, looped

Buttress O'Kneel has been making plunderphonic sound art since the late 20th Century, and has somehow still not been sued into oblivion by a dominant corporate culture eager to take creativity away from the people and sell it back to us at a profit. Her art explores the charged intersection of self-empowerment, social-empowerment, anti-authoritarianism, post-modernism, social critique, playfulness, anarchic joy, and a striving for sounds-yet-unheard. It is a folk-art based in the fundamental truth that we are all biological sampling machines, organic remixers, and there is nothing more primal than the sharing of matter and energy.

For ‘Cover Versions’, O’Kneel will present her 2020 audio work ‘Audiobok’ in an expanded form with tracks not included in the original released version. Readings from audio books are her source material, sliced and spliced into a new form and narrative.

O’Kneel has said about the work, “There was a period a few years ago there where everyone I knew was listening to audiobooks. As I'd already spent decades cutting up music and documentaries and advertisements and movies, it seemed only right that I give the ubiquitous audiobook a bash. And so, I went to the local library and borrowed a bunch of unrelated English-speaking audiobooks - the only thing I looked for was a range of voices, American, British, Australian, male, female, for a more "cut-up" sound. I had no plot in mind. I was not even thinking along narrative lines, they just emerged.

The whole release was really a surrealist/dada piece of meaningless gibberish, but it has the feel of a narrative work, simply because our brains are wired to make stories out of data, one of the surprising aspects of the finished work is that even when a sentence is made of cut-up words in a multitude of genders and geographical accents, the brain makes it mean something. It's like the brain is so primed to turn data into meaning that even when it knows there is no meaning there, it acts as though there is.”

Buttress O'Kneel Bandcamp


Buttress O'Kneel


A group exhibition curated by Anthony and Graham Dolphin
1 April - 1 May 2022, Abject Gallery, 27 Fawcett Street, Sunderland
9 July - 4 September 2022, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter