Heavy Metal Detector \\ Arts by the Sea
Steve Maher‘s Heavy Metal Detector returned to the UK to join Arts by the Sea’s programme for 2018.
Heavy Metal Detector is a cross-between a walk, workshop and performance. A relational public art project, that sits somewhere between metal music and sites of historic importance, this feat of geomancy gives members of the public the opportunity to become metal-detectors for the day, with a twist. Using customised metal detectors that have been hacked to play pre-recorded Heavy Metal music the artist will lead a number of tours responding to the site of Bournemouth. Every time a piece of metal is located under the ground a selection of locally-sourced hard rock and metal songs will play through their headphones. The work asks participants to navigate between rethinking their relationship to history, often communicated as something that is abstract and linear, and sub-cultures which are often experienced through social rituals and sound.
Through the act of listening, detecting metal becomes a way to connect these two often, disparate worlds. Heavy Metal Detector also operates as a new platform for disseminating music. Local bands have been contacted and invited to share a piece from their existing catalogue to be heard as part of a compilation lasting 45 minutes which is listened to sporadically throughout the tour. This new distribution channel will connect the musicians with audiences, who most likely would never normally get to experience their music otherwise.
Heavy Metal Detector at Arts by the Sea is produced by Abandon Normal Devices and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.
Heavy Metal Detector was originally part of the programme strand Dis-Location at AND Festival 2017.