Heavy Metal Detector

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, 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 leads a number of tours responding to a chosen site.  Every time a piece of metal is located under the ground a selection of locally-sourced hard rock and metal songs play through the 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 was supported using public funding by Arts Council England as part of AND Festival 2017

About the artist:

Steve Maher is a visual and relational artist from Limerick, Ireland based in Helsinki, Finland and working throughout Europe and North America. He is an Independent researcher, writer, Inventor, Tolkien scholar, curator and artist with extensive experience in the art-world. Maher’s work is centered on collaboration, relation and dialogue. 


If you’d like to know more about how you can hire Heavy Metal Detector, please contact our Programme Producer Louise Hargreaves on louise@andfestival.org.uk

HMD - Touring images

Photos by Chris Foster

Heavy Metal Detector was originally part of AND Festival 2017 and was under the programme strand Dis-Location. The work has since toured to Bolsover in partnership with Junction Arts.