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Spectral Karaoke

Spectral Karaoke is an experimental / improvisation project, comprising a revolving collective of artists connected with BEAST (Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre), part of the University of Birmingham.
The collective performs monthly at PanPan in Digbeth and have supported Red Snapper at Rich Mix London to celebrate the release of the band’s latest single, including remixes from Spectral Karaoke.

Bohlale Ba Maka

Project and Performances by Gary Charles and Carla Busuttil (in collaboration with Napo Masheane and Thulisile Binda).

Presented at Nirox Sculpture Park (Cradle of Humankind, UNESCO Heritage Site, South Africa)

Bohlale Ba Maka (an approximate Sesotho translation for Artificial Intelligence) is the result of a two month residency at NIROX, working with AI systems on an interdisciplinary basis to create an installation and exhibition, along with a series of performances and interventions.
Working with Napo Masheane (a Sesotho poet and playwright) and Thulisile Binda (Movement Artist) we sought to challenge the promoted view of Generative AI tools as generalisable, neutral or universal. The aim of the research and practice is to expose biases built into these technologies. My ongoing work with music-based AI tools was integrated with text, dance and image generation in order to understand the applicability across cultural and disciplinary contexts. Despite the hype, we aim to highlight the instrumental role that such tech plays in ‘reifying the complexity of the past,’ creating a ‘data-driven hyperextension of a colonial instinct’ to homogenise that which exists outside of its immediate orbit. To be machine readable entire archives (of music, art, text) are flattened and compressed into a retrievable symbolic, mathematical maps, thereby flattening time and creating a vacuum in place of social and cultural memory.
Those archives that are flattened, de-contextualised and statistically regurgitated represent a fraction of human experience and creativity, but are over-represented in media scrape-able from the internet. Through our workshop experiments in confusing, breaking or jamming with the tools, we could create new material that reveals the biases underpinning the models. For example, in conversation with GPT-3, Masheane’s references to Sesotho culture are de-contextualised and lost in translation, with the machine’s outputs becoming completely incoherent, and often, adamantly false. The conversations reveal the absences and blindspots embedded in the training sets, so vast in scale yet narrow in understanding. Local knowledges are absented and cultural memory erased. The future, in the topography of the model, is flat.
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FORM Journal: Issue 1 "Time"

Archived Futures: Digging in the Crates of Always by Gary Charles

The Vila Legodi Centre for Sculpture published a Journal featuring a reprint of my essay looking at Artificial Intelligence and the flattening of cultural time and logics. The print follows on from the Bohlale Ba Maka project that was realised in collaboration with Napo Masheane, Carla Busuttil and Thulisile Binda while working at the centre as Artists in Residence at the Nirox Sculpture Park (South Africa) in 2022.
Infrastructures of Security: Technologies of Risk Management in Johannesburg  by Prof. Martin Murray

Mosquito Lightning: Epilogue by Gary Charles & Carla Busuttil

We contributed an epilogue in Martin's book covering our Mosquito Lightning project. The book is part of the African Perspectives series from University of Michigan Press and delves into the privatised security landscape in Johannesburg, looking at the intersection of security service providers and the development of technologies aiming to reinforce conditions of surveillance. The book reveals the way in which data gathered from the privatised surveillance infrastructure is sold and used as material for training Artificial Intelligence models embedded in security technology marketed across the globe. Our Mosquito Lightning project looked at the same private security landscape from a viewpoint of how the services and technologies of these companies were marketed and sold, with a critical look at the crude gendered and racialised messaging that underpins the image presented by these firms. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with Martin and to be included in his book.
Always The Land

So what was this Earth that the meek were to inherit?

What if it had already been inherited? 

A film, installation and performance in collaboration with Carla Busuttil & Jodie Langford. The theme of the work takes the North East Coast of England as it’s starting point and primary setting. This coastline holds particular fascination as the site of some of the country’s most rapid coastal erosion (due to climate change), as well as its largest renewable energy projects in the form of offshore wind farms. These interlocking developments form an ideal location for artistic interrogation. In the film, we find #AltBlingQueen and her Jester, MiddleLanders casting spells and enchantments to the ocean, sending clicks from a groovebox, summoning jewelled creatures that hold the seabed hostage. They seek to release the wind, the land and the seabed back to The Commons, freed from the shackles of private enclosure, emancipated from the scourge of rent-seekers and inherited wealth. 
Shown at Recent Activity, Birmingham.
Performance at Stryx Arts -
Always land web film .webp
Jewelled creatures of the sea at an offshore wind farm.jpeg
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Archived Futures: Digging In The Crates Of Always
Article looking at the cultural relevance of Artificial Intelligence in the creation and curation of art and music.
Published as part of the Alluvium Journal special edition: Futurity In Crisis.
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Putting my left foot inside the right side of my smile
A Mixed Media digital animation presented as part of Corsica Studios Schemata 2.0 / Ident. An online exhibition utilising the Art City platform. This project is delivered as part of the South Birmingham (SoBir) Kollektiv.

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Further-in x BEAST  (29/01/21
Livestream of recorded performance in collaboration with Valentina Vuksic - And We Understood, Seldom is the Number
Indeterminate Futures - University Of Dundee
Presentation of paper discussing 'over-determined' composition tools, and how to break Artificial Intelligence music software.
Anyone Can Play AI - IASPM Punk Scholars Network 2020
The Reanimation Of Polly Tacks
Installation and video work reanimating a Gigantona Puppet created for the Poll Tax demonstrations of 1990.
A group of artists were invited to respond to the archives of the local community centre / art space. Through a series of workshops and interactions with the local community we were invited to create work to be shown as part of Audiograft 2018.
Presented at East Oxford Community Centre, UK
Part of Re:Sounding, Audiograft 2018
Supported by Sonic Art Research Unit (SARU) and Oxford Brookes University
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Tell Me What I Want, What I Really Really Want
Sound Installation placed in the toilet/cloakroom. A composed double duet between myself, Alexa, Siri and Voice of Google.
Presented as part of FUSION at Rising Sun Art Centre, Reading UK
Fringe event of Reading International, 2018
Curated by Simone Hesselburg, supported by Arts Council England.
Erosion Seems Impossible, Until The Land Is Gone
Stills from silent projections
Presented as part of FUSION at Rising Sun Art Centre, Reading UK
Fringe event of Reading International, 2018
Curated by Simone Hesselburg, supported by Arts Council England.
Freedom Comes In Many Forms, Each Without Another Is Incomplete
Presented as part of [inside] OUTSIDE at OVADA Warehouse Space, Oxford 2016
Re-Mapping Series
Presented as part of [inside] OUTSIDE at OVADA Warehouse Space, Oxford 2016
Coded by national genesis and/or census data.
Mogul      (in collaboration with Victoria Perry)
A former press baron returns to his stately home. Feeling uncomfortable in his new ego-spirit re-incarnation, he looks back on his life, behaviour and choices. Regret overwhelms him, particularly when he discovers what he believes to be the fountain of youth nestled right in his old backyard. Mogul tells a story of power lost, mortality found, and the role of individual characters in the evolution of mass media.
Mosquito Lightning      (in collaboration with Carla Busuttil and Chris Saunders)
Mosquito Lightning is an ongoing project, in collaboration with Carla Busuttil and Chris Saunders. The project looks at the increasing move towards privatisation of police and security services, as seen through the prism of widening levels of wealth inequality across the globe. Taking the South African private security industry as a starting point, Mosquito Lightning is a fictitious security firm, modelled on real-life examples. The firm has its own corporate branding, website, uniform and television advertisement. 

When The Bow Breaks


Stills from film & performance

November, 2015



Live performance (with Carla Busuttil) - 8 July, 2015


The Workbench - Milan, Italy

Polish Your Teeth, Polish Your Speech

Plastic Dreams (White Performance)

Short Film

Credit Cards & Contact Mics

Eye of the Geiger (for Aktive Raume, Berlin)

Poundstore Painting Series


Poundstore Painting Outtakes (No.2)


Film Work (in collaboration with Carla Busuttil)

Stills from Pompom Possession


Stills from The Credo


Stills from No More History


Hi Culture

Trashcan Algorithm

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