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UAL Research Online

Clapper Tongue and Moon Walker

Cobbing, William (2009) Clapper Tongue and Moon Walker. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Cobbing, William
Description:

Clapper Tongue and Moon Walker were created from research on the coastline fortifications at Berwick-upon-Tweed during the Berwick Gymnasium Fellowship (October 2008-March 2009) funded by Arts Council England and English Heritage.

Clapper Tongue is a 45-kg bronze life cast head and shoulders in the form of a bell suspended from the ceiling, fitted with an electronic strike hammer, ringing on an hourly timer. Cobbing liaised with the Whitechapel Bell Foundry to establish the optimum high copper bronze alloy to achieve a resonant sound for the bell-like sculpture, to account for its unusual non-symmetrical shape. Clapper Tongue also referenced the warning bell tower that was tolled when enemy lines approached the town, part of the area’s broader defensive architecture, from artillery ramparts built in 1558 to WWII concrete pillboxes. The title ‘Clapper Tongue’ refers to the anatomy and anthropomorphism of bronze bells, parts of which are labelled ‘neck’, ‘lip’, ‘shoulder’, and ‘clapper tongue.’

Moon Walker (13:15 mins) is a video documenting Cobbing walking backwards in a circle besides the Berwick coastline, with footage reversed so that he appeared to be walking forwards into his footprints in the sand. The performative action engages with Roberts Smithson’s theorization of entropy in ‘Monuments of Passaic’ (1967); namely how earthly material is subject to an irreversible process of erosion and dispersal. The erasure of a ‘drawn’ line of footprints along the coast in the Moon Walker video also echoes the palimpsest of shifting borderlines between England and Scotland in Berwick.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Wimbledon College of Arts
Date: 2009
Funders: Arts Council England, Heritage England
Material/Media: bronze; video
Measurements or Duration of item: 45 kg; 13:15 mins
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2014 16:20
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2014 16:20
Item ID: 6360
URI: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/6360

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