The Return of the Fleet Spring Heads was a science fiction audio walk in and around Northfleet. A journey of strange inward and outward transformations.
As you moved along a specific route within this landscape an accompanying ‘virtual reality’ soundtrack guided your perceptions of new relationships between place, mind and body through its composition of vocal narration, instructions, music and sound effects.
Moving backwards and forwards through time The Return of the Fleet Spring Heads addresses our collective experience of the pandemic as having shifted our sense of reality; We have become more highly tuned! We now perceive our networks of relationships with greater clarity! This is a rare moment ( sadly, it might pass ) that we have been given (as a gift!) to explore. Let’s create this exercise, this meditation, in a unique place. The only place where it can evolve: Here!
As we head out into the world The Return of the Fleet Spring Heads recalibrates us for this exploration. Exploring in the collective imaginary a ‘cement-ality’ evolved through shared experiences of the pandemic and channelled through the earth beneath this landscape, The Return of the Fleet Spring Heads attempts to create a utopian garden-city of new consciousness.
The work evolved over the early months of 2021, in Northfleet’s phase of limbo, just before the diggers moved in to erase the last traces of its cement industry, mutating the identity of its community.
Each experience of the walk is different as the radical transformations of landscape escalate hour by hour. Many of the narrative’s visual references to features of the site, that existed only a week ago, are now buried under piles of rubble, as though the bulldozers are somehow demolishing the audio’s truths, turning them to fiction. The Return of the Fleet Spring Heads is a method of preserving the disappearing within the collective memory of its audience, who become the custodians of the soul of the Northfleet landscape.
The Return of the Fleet Spring Heads was commissioned by Cement Fields for Estuary 2021.
Voice: Leanne Henlon
Music: Steph Horak is a sound and video artist. She designs systems for voice and composition, and performs on the improvisation circuit. She produces experimental pop music under the name SheIsRevolting. She focuses on error, malfunction and bad programming to create polyrhythmic sonic washes against a backdrop of homemade videos. She is bad at releasing music but has a solo cassette on Fractal Meat Tapes, and a collaboration with Renick Bell on Conditional Records.
Thanks to: Northfleet Big Local (Mandi Knight and Julie Collins), Andrea Jackova: Romani Slovak Czech Community, and BA Fine Art students from Central Saint Martins (UAL): Tzu-Chin Chen, Jasmine Condon, Poppy French, Eleanor Gustard, Melisa Kaplanbasoglu, Ruby Lewis, Zuzia O’Donoghue, Nikita Snegirjov, Lunan Song, Viola Yang, and Nadia West.