Trevor Jackson Talks Palindrome


NTS Radio are co-hosting a series of events with the ICA entitled Parallel Visions. For the inaugural event guest curator Trevor Jackson is creating a specially commissioned installation, multi-dimensional experience inspired by Richard Hamiltons Palindrome (1974). Accompanied by music from Trevor and Tom Furse of The Horrors Djing plus live music from  Luke Abbott and Dave I.D we had a quick chat with Trevor about the project.

Can you explain to us exactly what Palindrome is?
Richard Hamilton created a self portrait titled Palindrome in 1968, a lenticular print, that works like a simple animated moving image within a flat print
almost like a gif file that shows his reflection in a mirror as well as his real hand and various objects placed on different planes within the image
& on the actual surface of the print.

Palindrome means – ''a word, phrase, number, or other sequence of symbols or elements, whose meaning may be interpreted the same way in either forward or reverse direction" 

To what extent has Richard Hamilton's Palindrome inspired you and had an effect on this project?
I've been a fan of Hamilton's work since I was a teenager, and some of his work had a direct influence on my early sonic experiments. I studied art & design way before I attempted making music and saw direct comparisons between audio sampling & visual collage.
When the opportunity to work on an event with NTS at the ICA came about, the chance of doing one coinciding with his work was incredibly exciting for me.
The chance of creating an event in such a salubrious space is an honour.
When asked to curate an evening of music and visuals my immediate idea was to do something with mirrors and reflective materials, something Hamilton continually used throughout his career. I consciously didn't want to explore anything digital nor projection based and possibly what people would immediately expect from me. I actually have an aversion to most 'VJ' style visuals that currently accompany most music environments, simply mindless moving wallpaper made up of meaningless patterns.  Most club visuals are nonsense and don't enhance a listening experience but simply distract, the best club experiences I've had have actually been in pitch black ones or the ones with minimal amounts of lighting. You feel the music much more when you're not distracted by unrelated imagery or visuals gimmicks. 
For the event i'm building a large totally mirrored space, floor, walls & ceilings. All the artists & DJ's will perform inside, basic lighting will change the mood of the environment related to the musical soundtrack. Hopefully it'll be both a beautiful and often intense experience
Do you think that this visual or aural side has a greater effect on the listener/viewer?

They're both equally as powerful. I'm fascinated by visceral primal stimuli, things that bypass any thought processes and directly impact on you, The combination of both mediums together in synergy are magical and drive most of my creative work. 

You've had a pretty illustrious career so far, who would you most like to work with again?
I'm far more interested in people I haven't worked with than ones i have already.
How did you choose the music that will accompany Palindrome?
I wanted artists that were british and had a relation & appreciation to Hamilton's work.  Performers rooted in an art school aesthetic with links to the past along with a forward thinking approach, experimental but also acceessible.
DAVE.I.D 'Zulu Bash' teaser


LUKE ABBOTT's remix of Simian Ghost
This event is being streamed via the NTS website, how do you think it will translate to viewers at home? And do you think that live streaming events is something that should be adopted by more people?
I've no idea, the space is a disorienting one. I don't actually know how long people will be able to stay in the space, let alone watch it from the comfort of their homes? Nothing beats the real thing, but if you live one the other side of the planet why not have the chance of experiencing just a small part of something exciting.
How important do you think it is that young people have enough creative spaces to work in? What can be done to make sure that this happens?
As long as your mind is in the right place you can work anywhere, current technology allows anyone to think, work, produce & deliver at any time in virtually any place on the planet. Most of the UKs best creative work has been reactionary, produced through adversity & limitations. I'm not going to get angry about predictable change, ideas are free.

NTS presents Palindrome happens at the ICA on 18th February. More details and tickets here.

Ciaran Steward