Top image: Untitled Coin Operation, (Still from Video), by Birkbeck & Duffy, 2009
I (Stuart Bastik) took Eimer Birkbeck and Joe Duffy up on an opportunity to accompany them on one of their research trips out in the sea beyond Piel Harbour in rather choppy seas in August 2009. This took place shortly after we first met them after they applied to exhibit under our U -Hang @ Art Gene Exhibitions Programme.
The intension was to get near to one of the offshore wind farms, something they later achieved. The sea was just too choppy for the converted life boat we travelled in that day and I began to turn an attractive green colour – the favoured method of transport being the newer, more stable twin hulled craft which ferry workers out to the windfarms for maintenance and construction.
It was, none-the-less, fascinating to see Barrow from the sea for the first time. It gives one a very different understanding of the town and its geographical location. It remains difficult for locals and visitors to take a trip out around the Islands of Barrow as there are no regular organised pleasure trips available, though boats can be chartered for fishing trips if you know who to ask. One of the problems seems to be a lack of available jetties in Walney Channel.
Partly in an attempt to correct this lack of opportunity and as part of a wider Design Cafe series of talks walks and tours we were pleased that Jo and Eimer were able to organise a couple of boat trips for our communities to experience their town from a different perspective.
Birkbeck and Duffy (UK)
Based in Paris & Manchester respectively, Eimer Birkbeck & Joe Duffy have worked collaboratively as Birkbeck & Duffy since 2007, producing work that investigates narrativity through place, space, landscape, phenomena, sound and image.
Past outputs include their critically acclaimed international project Singing Sands, which was realized in collaboration with The Morphodynamic Lab, Paris University 7, and hosted by the Manchester Festival of Science, Manchester Museum of Science & Industry. Please see link below
Joe Duffy works with video, installation and photographic practice around place, displacement and memory. Interests and subjects include the narrative potential of found objects, childrens toys, urban peripheries, simulacra and migration.
The central focus of Birkbeck’s work lies in the exploration of sound as the covert cultural and physical structure underlying all our day to day experiences. Alongside sound works for installation, CD publication and Radio, Birkbeck’s work can be heard on the YYZ Anthology Aural Cultures.