mark fell





Structural Solutions To The Question Of Being

Art Sheffield 2016.

The work takes a pirate radio broadcast from February 1991 from Park Hill as its focal point. By chance a “shout out” to “Mark in Rotherham” was heard over a decade later and thus started a process of research into the changing social, technical and musical contexts of that particular moment. Here the utopian rhetorics of the dance floor are contrasted with its demonisation from the political establishment and popular press. The work attempts to look beyond this surface, into the hidden trajectories of these dynamics and their ongoing repercussions. 

Situated in the now derelict Link Inn, part of the iconic Park Hill housing development, the work considers relationships between the political climate in the north of England, the popularisation of house and techno musics, developments in music technology, the emergent vocabularies of club music, and changing attitudes toward cultural difference. It frames that moment as a confluence of transformative events, a pivotal intersection of technical, social and personal change, that would irrevocably change British society.

photos by julian lister


for a high resolution photo of the sticky notes (above) please click here - structural solutions resources


guardian review

Art Sheffield's 2016 festival programme, entitled Up, Down, Top, Bottom, Strange and Charm is curated by Martin Clark, Director of Bergen Kunsthall, and runs from 16 April – 8 May 2016. Conceived as an 'exploded' group show, Art Sheffield presents a carefully selected programme dedicated entirely to sound and moving image, exhibited across Sheffield's galleries, venues, industrial and urban spaces.

For Art Sheffield 2016, Rotherham-based artist Mark Fell has created a new site-specific installation in the derelict Link Pub at Sheffield’s infamous, imposing brutalist housing estate Park Hill. Responding to this very particular location, Fell has uncovered a recording from a pirate radio station, broadcast from Park Hill in 1992 making a transitional point of musical, technical, political and social change. The recording is re-presented against the context of an eerily vacant architecture embodying the utopian Modernist social ideals of the late 1950s and 60s, their subsequent political and material collapse, and a contemporary corporate regeneration. The work includes interviews with the two original hosts of the radio show as well as contextual materials that examine Fell’s interest in that moment in Sheffield’s history.

what the space looked like before

photo courtesy of jade richardson

© mark fell, modified October 07, 2016, at 06:24 AM PDT edit print