Robbie Thomson on Cryptic Nights project Inducer

ArtBeat: Robbie Thomson talks to us about 'Inducer', his Cryptic Nights project with Sarah Milne and Jack Wrigley

Collaboration with Sarah Milne and Jack Wrigley

What was the inspiration for your new project ‘Inducer’ with Sarah Milne and Jack Wrigley?
‘Inducer’ is an extension of our interest in experimental musical instrument design and an attempt to create a crude, mechanical form of electronic music. ‘Inducer’ was inspired by various psychological phenomena in which sound and light are capable of inducing altered states and the lo-fi surrealism of artists such as Jan Svankmajer.

Your practices are multi-faceted. What came first, music, film or art installation?
Our individual practices are all pretty varied and it’s interesting to mix elements together and try out new forms, for example textile design on the skeleton of a kinetic sculpture. We want to create immersive experiences that engage the audience on a number of levels: visually, physically, sonically, so it’s necessary to use multisensory media. The sound sculptures are used as much for their visual impact as their sonic properties. In the past we’ve worked in areas ranging from performance, puppetry, mask making and collage to holography, photography and screen print.

What do you look for in the people you collaborate with?

Collaboration is something that’s very important to all three of us. We’re members of the sound and art collective 85A and have worked together on a number of past projects. It’s a really tight crew and it’s a constructive atmosphere to voice ideas. It’s also really healthy to be able to talk critically about the work together and make decisions as a group.

Can you tell us about your forthcoming projects?

We’ll be busy this summer with 85A finishing off our self-produced film Chernozem (written by Judd Brucke). It’s an industrial horror-fantasy that follows the story of a chain-gang escapee with a factory for a head! It will premiere at a specially constructed cinema at the Glue Factory in autumn. Apart from that we’re planning to expand our orchestra for a few tour dates.

Cryptic Nights: Inducer, CCA, Glasgow, Thu 5–Sat 7 May.

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