For Stressing Commuters, Up the Beanstalk responds to Commuters
(Koenig Books 2021), the latest published book by artist and writer Toby Christian. Written with Christian’s trademark detail, the text tilts between the headspaces of guided meditation and hyper-forensic rave.
Up the Beanstalk – using the Commuters text as a source – bring their distorted worldbuilding style to imagine a new transmission featuring readings and contributions from Pops Roberts, Johanna Hedva, Chiorstaidh Black, Setrus, Esther Dillner, Stuart McKenzie and Toby Christian. Presented in a custom installation in the ICA Theatre, they invite the audience to become enveloped in the sound of Stressing Commuters.
Signed copies of Commuters
will be available from the ICA Bookstore
Listen to more episodes of Up the Beanstalk on NTS Radio
Starting in 2019 as a broadcasting project, Up the Beanstalk has its roots in story-telling and sound culture. Artists, sound designers and musicians Dom Ridler, Alex Capps and Louis Pennington work alongside a changing line-up of guest readers to introduce characters, remix writings and invite listeners on imaginative excursions. They broadcast their work on NTS Radio; previous episodes include an interpretation of radical queer text The Faggots and their Friends Between Revolutions
by Larry Mitchell, the youth-led Travelling Players
and more recently New Meridian
, a dedication to avant-garde performer David Hoyle.
Toby Christian’s interdisciplinary practice centres around objects and language to question dominant modes of representation and communication via dissociative and increasingly divinatory processes. His writing presents the reader with high-definition textual spaces for habitation, where objective descriptions elicit dynamic, destabilised poetics. Since 2020 he has been developing Stringer, an application which produces a unique, temporary, suspended digital string sculpture in response to a user’s spoken statement. Recent solo exhibitions and projects include ‘no odonata’ at Belmacz, London (2023); ‘Stringer (Bone Behaviour)’, Parrhesiades, London (2022-), ‘Lazy Bones’ at Casanova, São Paulo (2021); ‘studioaudio’ with Good Gear (broadcast) via Resonance FM, AICA UK and PEER (2021); ‘Old School New Body’ at Celine, Glasgow (2019), ‘Trippy Scroller’ at PEER, London (2019); ‘The News’ curated by David Dale Gallery, Glasgow at Swimming Pool, Sofia (2017); and ‘Railing’ (performance) at Whitechapel Gallery, London (2017). His books Commuters (2021), Collar (2017) and Measures (2013) are published by Koenig Books.