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Jersey artist turns fake news into old news

Jersey artist turns fake news into old news

Thursday 02 March 2017

Jersey artist turns fake news into old news

Thursday 02 March 2017

In an age of "fake news" and "alternative facts", the media are under more scrutiny than ever. However, one Jersey-born artist decided that this is the perfect time to celebrate the media with an ode to the olden days.

On Donald Trump's inauguration weekend this year, Christine Finn performed ‘Lead to Air’ in New York, and after her success across the pond she plans to bring her performance to Jersey.

An increased focus on the habits of the news world led the Jersey-born artist to perform the piece, which explores the journey of the media from the technology of typewriters to the birth of the 24-hour news cycle.


Pictured: A section of Ms Finn's 60-foot flow of consciousness. (Photo: Arts Letters & Numbers)

While the piece was not intended as a political statement, Ms Finn acknowledged the timeliness of the production.

She said: “I did feel like there was quite a lot going on over Inauguration weekend in terms of artistic pursuits and I wanted to do something that was really quite positive so I wasn’t really making a statement as such about the politics but I thought there had been so much in the air about fake news and that it would be an apposite time to do it.”

Ms Finn sat at a typewriter in a darkened barn for six hours and five minutes, typing her flow of consciousness onto a 60-foot ribbon of paper that cascaded onto the barn floor, allowing audience members to approach the writing and read it.


Pictured: A member of the public reads some of Ms Finn's work. (Photo: Arts Letters & Numbers)

Audience members could also leave the barn and enter another room where they could hearA Lot of Sorrow, an audio tape of a 6 hour live performance by Ragnar Kjartansson and The National.

Beginning her career in journalism in the 1970s, Ms Finn used the audio, her writing and the typewriter as a means to embrace the old media cycle and news room technology.


Pictured: The 60-foot reel of paper cascaded from Ms Finn's typewriter onto the floor. (Photo: Arts Letters & Numbers)

She said: “The 24-hour news cycle is what we have now, whereas back in the day there was a time when the paper went to bed and that was it. There was sense of completion that you had done a job and that you had reached a deadline or frustratingly maybe you had missed the deadline but there was an end.”


Pictured: Ms Finn listened to a six hour piece of audio while typing. (Photo: Arts Letters & Numbers)

She was pleased with how people responded to the performance and said it “went down well.” Ms Finn believes the timeliness of the event was essential in framing peoples interpretations.

She said: “The media was very much in peoples’ mind and consciousness and so it came together in that way and I think people really understood it more than if I’d chosen another time”

Following the success of her performance State-side, Ms Finn has expressed an interest in bringing the piece to the Island later this year.

She originally intended the piece to be a one off performance, however she said: “I’d like to do it in Jersey.”


Pictured: Ms Finn engrossed in her work, which took six hours to produce. (Photo: Arts Letters & Numbers)

Ms Finn said: “I think doing it in Jersey would be really profound because Jersey’s my birthplace and my mum was there during the occupation and my grandmother.”

She said: “It started out in fact with me talking about migration in the sense that I’m from Jersey but moved to England and my mother was from Jersey and Jersey came up in the text in the beginning.”

Although Ms Finn has no certain plans regarding a Jersey performance yet, she is exploring venue options and hopes to perform the piece later this year in May. 

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