War Workings

Tim Shaw & John Bowers

Drawing on museum and archive material, Shaw and Bowers will build a sound installation, starting from nothing. The duo invites the public to participate in making, listening to and re-inventing communications technologies from the First World War.

Many contemporary technologies have their ancestry in innovations developed to support military activity in World War One: communications and signalling systems, listening and timekeeping devices. Inspired by artefacts from the Tyne & Wear Archives, Shaw and Bowers will build a sound installation on site over a two-day period. The artists’ process will be publicly open. Starting from nothing, the duo will build, create and install the work inviting the public to join them in making, listening and re-inventing war technology.


Tim Shaw has worked internationally as a professional composer, performer, sound designer and researcher. His practice incorporates diverse approaches to sound capture and processing, and includes creating immersive and site responsive sonic installations. His compositional methods include field recordings, synthesized sounds and live electronics, providing a wide scope for creative diversity. At the heart of his work lies a concern with the auditory reflection and mirroring of real world environments through sound and technology. He is currently studying a PhD in Digital Media at Culture Lab, Newcastle University, alongside managing record label Triptik. 

John Bowers is an artist-researcher working within Culture Lab with a particular interest in the use of art and design-led methods to explore digital technologies and novel interaction concepts. He also works as a sound artist improvising with electronic, digital, acoustic and electro-mechanical devices and self-made instruments in performance and installation settings, typically accompanied by live digital image.