neil cummings


Dragline stumbles across an autonomous machine, and via 1970's structuralist film, returns the logic of digital practice - find, copy, paste, repeat - to its industrial roots.

Commissioned as part of the British Art Show Six (2006), I collaborated with artists Marysia Lewandowska, Eileen Simpson and Ben White to explore public moving image archives in each of the four cities of the exhibition's tour; the project evolved into Screen Tests.

Dragline is assembled from orhaned film fragments (c1950s) from the Media Archive for Central England in Lincoln.

Our intention was to source orphaned or out-of-copyright material from which to create a new filmwork - while simultaneously looking for copyright expired music in the British Library and Library of Congress archives to create an appropriate soundtracks.

During the exhibition, we also negotiated with each of the archives to release our new filmworks, along with the moving image source files and audio material, under a Creative Commons license. Enriching rather than depleting the public domain.


Read more about Screen Tests or the British Art Show 6 

The beautiful soundtrack is composed by Ben White at



Screen Tests resurfaced in Substrate, and to some extent Entusiasts and Social Cinema


52.951, -1.1459

Angel Row Gallery
United Kingdom

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