Jay Jermyn responds to the disorientating constant stream of news

15 Apr 2020

Jay Jermyn responds to the disorientating constant stream of news

We chatted to Jay Jermyn, the creative mind behind News on the Hour, a live streamed sound and visual performance work that responds to the disorientating constant stream of the news cycle. This project was supported by our Rage Against the V(irus) fund and received an overwhelmingly positive response.

How did the idea for this project come about?

‘The work was developed during my time on residence at The Walls for their 5 week studio takeover “The RETREAT” alongside 4 other artists. Sharing that space and watching other artists work with weekly critic sessions pushed me to develop a work I hadn’t thought to make.‘

What interests you about the news cycle and the way we consume information?

‘I’ve been interested mostly in how the delivery of news is distorted dependent on which station or website you’re on. I’ve found that political bias is prevalent in news media no matter how righteous or wrong.’

How do you hope people respond to this work?

‘I hope my audience gets to take a breath from the onslaught of 24hr news and ingest it in a new compelling abstract way. I’d also like people to give a thought to the way the news is delivered as entertainment first before facts.’

What can we expect to happen during these live-streamed events?

‘For around 10-15mins I’ll be directing the audio of the live stream through a series of digital manipulations to alter the sound and loop or repeat certain phrases. I’ll even be throwing in some house and techno rhythms to deliver some energy and make it mine. I’ll also be having Julian Currie and Shaun Allen taking over on two nights to deliver their own authorship of the news.’

Do you have any future hopes for this work?

‘The fun part about News on the Hour is that it will never be the same, it’s always an improvised response to what’s being reported at the time. I see a future for this work in museums and gallery performance settings where the ever-changing audience will see a different performance every hour of the day. I also see this as an opportunity to invite more sound artists to join me and expand the authorship of the work, a curated week of news “reporters”.’

How have you been impacted by the current crisis and how do you feel about it?

‘I haven’t been as impacted as many of my peers in the arts and entertainment industry but the furniture design studio I work with in Byron Bay has started to see our orders be cancelled, we will see an effect down the line as less people are in the position to renovate their restaurants and bars. I also had some testing of a new public work that I’m working on with Situate arts and the generate program on the GC cancelled with the WSL surfing event in Coolangatta. My band Veople is releasing new music this Friday that we won’t be able to have a launch party for. We’ll all have to party extra hard and go see as many shows and gigs as possible when this is all over.’

You can watch News on the Hour live on the Veople Instagram account here or search @veople on Instagram.

Acknowledgments 

News on the Hour – The News at 7 has been supported by HOTA, Home of Arts through HOTA’s Artist Fund: Rage against the V(irus).