Summoning Ghosts of Industries Past rouses distant voices and clanking whirring obsolete machines amongst the dusty rafters and uneven floorboards of a former cotton mill in the city centre of Manchester. Loops of 16mm film showing men and women working in textile factories were given a live soundscape of industrial weaving machinery and songs relating to work with cloth and thread. Part of the performance involved Mary mixing live with 16mm film loops of moving images and optical sounds created from fabric, stitch and thread. In addition to optical sound, the performance repeatedly emphasised sound as a physical, material format: Mary sang Lace Tell and played the keyboard, as well as playing songs on vinyl records and a dub plate recording of weaving machinery at Quarry Bank Mill. The event was hosted by the Manchester based Film Material collective and took place on 26th February 2015.
Mary Stark is an artist filmmaker with a background in textile practice based at Rogue Studios, Manchester. She shows her work internationally and in 2014 undertook an artist residency at the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto. Shows include Contact Festival of New Experimental Film and Video, a specially commissioned camera-less 35mm film in response to the Delia Derbyshire Archive, Mono No Aware exhibition of Expanded Cinema in New York and a performance in a makeshift darkroom in Sauðárkrókur, Iceland