Haroon Mirza & Jack Jefls (hrm199)
Collide Award 2017
Artist studio hrm199 (Haroon Mirza in collaboration with Jack Jelfs) produce interdisciplinary collective and collaborative practice. one1one focuses specifically on the interplay between language, consciousness and physical matter. In 2017 Haroon Mirza and Jack Jelfs were joint winners of the Collide International Award, as part of the collaboration with FACT Liverpool, spent two months at CERN working in close collaboration with research scientists and one month at the Liverpool institution to engage in production.
As part of this award, Mirza and Jelfs developed one1one,2018 - a video manifesto, combined with electric circuits which generate light, sound and disruptions to moving image creates a seemingly synesthetic installation. one1one,2018 examines language as a human technology: drawing on incantation, ritual, and the relationship between written and spoken word. Through this series of sensorial stimuli, hrm199 aim to scrutinise the limitations of how human language can make sense of things, particularly the contradictions of meaning which can occur when it is used to describe fundamental science. one1one, 2018 has been exhibited in Broken Symmetries, an international touring exhibition at FACT, Liverpool (2018); CCCB, Barcelona (2018) ; iMAL, Brussels (2020); National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung (2020); Kumu, Tallinn (2020-2021); Le Lieu Unique, Nantes (2021).
In January 2021, Mirza and Jelfs released the album The Wave Epoch. Incorporating music, poetry, incantation, archive and original video footage and homemade electronic instruments (including some built from discarded scientific equipment from CERN), the album imagines a distant future in which the forgotten remains of the Large Hadron Collider have been rediscovered.
Haroon Mirza has won international acclaim for installations that test the interplay and friction between sound and light waves and electric current. He devises kinetic sculptures, performances and immersive installations, such as The National Apavillion of Then and Now (2011) – an anechoic chamber with a circle of light that grows brighter in response to increasing drone, and completely dark when there is silence. An advocate of interference (in the sense of electro-acoustic or radio disruption), he creates situations that purposefully cross wires. He describes his role as a composer, manipulating electricity, a live, invisible and volatile phenomenon, to make it dance to a different tune and calling on instruments as varied as household electronics, vinyl and turntables, LEDs, furniture, video footage and existing artworks to behave differently. Processes are left exposed and sounds occupy space in an unruly way, testing codes of conduct and charging the atmosphere. Mirza asks us to reconsider the perceptual distinctions between noise, sound and music, and draws into question the categorisation of cultural forms. “All music is organised sound or organised noise,” he says. “So as long as you’re organising acoustic material, it’s just the perception and the context that defines it as music or noise or sound or just a nuisance”.
Jack Jelfs is an artist based in London whose work combines sculptural and visual elements with sound, electronics and live performance. His interests include questions about the nature of consciousness, ontology, ritual, divinatory systems and the limits of language. He has released music under various aliases and performed or exhibited at venues including Tate Modern, the Barbican, Serpentine Gallery.