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Artists taking the lead: North East

  • Date: 16 May 2011
  • Artform: Visual arts
  • Area: North
Four men sitting on garden wall with headphones on Steve Symons, Ed Carter, Antony Hall and Simon Blackmore with ilogs, Credit: Paul Hermann 2009

Owl Project and Ed Carter, Flow


~Flow is a tidemill - a floating building on the River Tyne that generates its own power using a tidal water wheel. The building houses electro acoustic musical machinery and instruments that respond to the constantly changing environment of the river, generating sound and data.

~Flow spans artforms, blending contemporary and traditional methods. It has wide appeal, combining sculpture, cutting edge technology, hand crafted wooden instruments, architecture, precision engineering and electronic music to create an astonishing audio-visual public artwork.

Everyone's experience of ~Flow will be completely unique as the instruments respond to the changing state of the river and can also be influenced and even manipulated by the visitor.

~Flow will bring together people of all ages and interests to contribute to an inspiring cultural project that is accessible, free and open to all.

FLOW will open in March 2012. 

About the artists

~Flow is a collaboration between Owl Project (artistic lead) and Ed Carter (producer and original concept).

Ed Carter is a music and arts producer with a focus on technology and digital media. He is Director of Modular, specialists in devising and producing large-scale, interdisciplinary art projects. Ed also releases music as Winter North Atlantic, "the melodies have an abstract, dislocated sadness that slowly seduce you with their meandering grace. Luxurious and tranquil synth pads are packed with emotional detail ... textures drenched in nostalgic overtones." The Wire

Owl Project is a collaborative group of artists consisting of Simon Blackmore, Antony Hall and Steve Symons. They work with wood and electronics to fuse sculpture and sound art, creating music making machines, interfaces and objects which intermix pre-steam and digital technologies. Drawing on influences such as 70s synthesiser culture, DIY woodworking and current digital crafts, the resulting artwork is a quirky and intriguing critique of the allure and production of technology. They have become known for a distinctive range of wooden musical and sculptural instruments that critique human interaction with computer interfaces and our increasing appetite for new and often disposable technologies. "The Owl Project are a wonderful combination of inventiveness, precision, lateral thinking and single-minded quirkiness" Tim Marlow, White Cube Gallery. 

The panel

All of the winning Artists taking the lead projects were chosen by a panel of artists and producers. The North East panel commented:

'Flow will be a work of quirky invention combining craft tradition, industrial heritage and digital technology. It will use the iconic Tyne riverside as the site of an interactive experience that will transform people’s sense of place, space and nature, creating unforgettable images and strange sounds. By exploring issues of environmental sustainability and the reinvention of a region with a proud history of innovation, we thought it would leave a real legacy.'


Read the Artists taking the lead, North East panel biographies.

Visit the Artists taking the lead page to find out about the other projects taking place across the UK.