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THE TURING SUITE

 

In 2013 artist Matthew Denniss was awarded funding to make a short film  looking at the life and work of mathematician and computer science pioneer Alan Turing. Early on in the project he discovered a series of prints by artist Eduardo Paolozzi entitled 'The Turing Suite'. These brightly coloured screenprints collage together circuit boards, cogs, connectors with excerpts from a book about human anatomy and a biography of Turing. Accordingly, Denniss became more interested in this approach of combining material to make a visually complex work that was less a biography and more about taking elements of Turing’s story and developing them to produce something more abstract.

 

Having known Chris Butler for a number of years through their art practice Denniss approached WeAreWillow in the interest of developing the project, collaging his visuals with a musical composition. His belief that the incidental and unexpected connections made with other people as you go about your business make for the best collaborations.

 

With a sound in mind that spoke of computerised systems, repetition and electronics, but made from the very human process of live improvisation and experimentation Butler enlisted the help of long standing musical collaborator Simon Connor. A  to-and-fro process of ideas between artist and composers lasted a year, and as the composition developed in complexity, so did the visuals. The finished work applying a combination of green screen, montage, archival footage, and narration.

 

The film slowly evolved, with Turing becoming a character, and the story having a number of scenes, each scene having its own soundtrack. The final piece 'The Turing Suite' becomes a conversation between moving image and music, allowing for a narrative inspired by Alan Turing, developed through the collaboration between Denniss, Butler and Connor.