Digital Arts & Creative Technology

Town Talk: Scanner – How to Make Art from Life

This July, ahead of his installation The Dreamer is Still Asleep, Scanner took over the Weave Town Talk to tell us all about how to make art from life…

Catch the full recording of his talk, where he talks about who he is and what he makes, below. Over the last twenty-five years he has focused on bringing to life many of the invisible or overlooked aspects of our world in ways that embrace both the cultural and historical in a playful, engaging and thoughtful manner.

Scanner was commissioned by SHIFT and the National Trust to create The Dreamer is Still Asleep, running from 29 July – 29 October 2017 at Little Moreton Hall.  Little Moreton Hall is a delightfully quirky Tudor timber framed building surrounded by a moat and set within a small garden just outside Congleton, Cheshire.  The commission is part of Trust New Art, connecting artists to ‘spirit of place’ through contemporary arts.  The Dreamer is Still Asleep is a sound and aromatic installation that explores the transcendent state between sleeping and waking with sounds that would once have filled the hall. Scanner has created a sonic experience of blurry dreamfulness, where voices, music, footsteps and glasses clinking together merge with a musical ambience to create an atmospheric and cinematic experience.

From scoring 1000 dancers for the UK Olympics, soundtracking a working morgue in Paris, using a London bus as a music venue to a six hour premiere at the Royal Opera House London, Scanner’s work connects the points between a bewilderingly diverse array of genres.


About Scanner

Robin Rimbaud, alias Scanner (1964, London, UK) is a composer whose work traverses the experimental terrain between sound, space and image, creating absorbing, multilayered sound pieces that twist technology in unconventional ways, connecting a bewilderingly diverse array of genres. Since 1991 he has been intensely active in sonic art, producing concerts, installations and recordings, the albums Mass Observation (1994), Delivery (1997), and The Garden is Full of Metal (1998) hailed by critics as innovative and inspirational works of contemporary electronic music.

Committed to working with cutting edge practitioners he has collaborated on projects with Bryan Ferry, Wayne MacGregor, Mike Kelley, Miroslaw Balka, Torres, Michael Nyman, Carsten Nicolai, Steve McQueen, Laurie Anderson and Hussein Chalayan, amongst others.

He scored the hit musical comedy Kirikou & Karaba (2007), designed the sound for the Philips Wake-Up Light (2009), and campaigns for Nike Hyperfuse (2011), Chanel’s Fall-Winter collection (2012), Sprint Telephones (2012) and FT Weekend (2014). For the UK Olympics Scanner scored The Big Dance in Trafalgar Square for 1000 dancers and the re-opening of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, in the company of Queen Beatrix. He continues to tour his show Live_Transmission: Joy Division Reworked, a striking audiovisual show with Heritage Orchestra. In 2014 he was Visiting Artist at MIT in Cambridge USA.

In 2015 he premiered his score to Dutch National Ballet’s and ISH’s new production Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and in 2016 installed his Water Drops sound work in Rijeka Airport in Croatia, Ghosts at Cliveden National Trust UK, and scored the world’s first ever Virtual Reality ballet with Dutch National Ballet in summer 2016.

His work can be heard on permanent display in the Science Museum London (Sound Curtains), the Raymond Poincaré hospital in Garches, France as part of the bereavement suite (Channel of Flight), The Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum London and the Northern Neuro Disability Services Centre in Newcastle UK (Turning Light). Sedition Artworks distribute his digital film works online.

His portrait hangs as part of the permanent collection in the National Portrait Gallery London. His work has been presented throughout the United States, South America, Asia, Australia and Europe.