Artists / Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects was established in 1999 by artists Phil Duckworth and Ben Sadler. Their work incorporates video, sound and performance-based installations that explore the desire to escape back to nature in the digital age, mixing traditional craft with new technologies.

Early works involved the destruction of electronic gadgets in a stand-off with nature. More recently the duo have focused on maverick music making, collaborating with local youth groups to create the songs, outfits and customised instruments of two rival fictional bands.

Juneau Projects were first brought together at Grizedale and made some of their first collaborative works for 'Grizedale Live' (2001), including 'Miccamfire', a performance in which they broadcast the demise of a microphone by lowering it into a fire - its squeals and hisses playing out through speakers nearby.

That same evening they enlisted the help of a stalker, a rifle marksman whose job it is to control the deer population in the forest. Their second performance showed the camouflaged figure of the marksman take aim and fire at the lens of a camera, eradicating his own image with its destruction.

They also made their formative early work 'Walkman/Lake' on Coniston Water, witnessed by a small audience of invited onlookers. A recording of Richard Strauss' late Romantic composition 'Metamorphosen' played out of a Walkman, attached by a long cable to speakers on the shore. The Walkman was placed in a dinghy that Ben rowed out into the lake; when he reached the middle he slowly lowered the Walkman into the water, gradually replacing the sounds of Strauss' mournful strings with electronic crackle as nature took over the machine.

The Juneaus have subsequently been a perennial fixture in and around the Grizedale programme, as they can often be drawn upon to lend their skills to a variety of circumstances, whether that be devising a radio workshop for Egremont school children or impressing Japanese farmers with their drinking prowess (both surprisingly effective pieces of engaged practice).

Juneaus' book 'The Black Moss' can be found in Lawson Park library.