Four Words: Future
Alan Dunn’s Channel 4 takeover. Catch up on All4
You know how those adverts on facebook target you? Or down the side of your email inbox? Well Metal Liverpool have been working with artist Alan Dunn on a huge project that does just that – if you’re aged 16-34 and a regular viewer of All4, Channel 4’s catch up service.
Four Words: Future is part of an ongoing series by Alan Dunn, and this iteration comes as the new year begins, screened in the most accessible medium of our generation. Screened ahead of and during streaming services in place of adverts, the film focusses on technology, football, faith and youth and uses simple four word statements to reach its audience as efficiently as possible.
It’s not the first time Channel 4 have supported visual arts on their platforms, with Western Flag by John Garrard marking Earth Day across their digital channels on Earth Day 2017, and live for the entire day on All4. The project was part of a global intervention by the artist, streaming the film from Texas to households around the world, with a physical film installation at Somerset House in London.
The channel also play the part of Grayson Perry’s eternal platform, with short series which seem to be more important to his work than the outcome. They produce Random Acts, a weekly late night show promoting short film by emerging artists and have a commitment to new work throughout 2019 working with film makers, artists and choreographers.
Four Words is the latest in this commitment to the arts from the channel, but is one of the most significant in its position as being absolutely art without global agenda in the way that Western Flag was, or supporting artists through Channel 4. Alan Dunn worked with Metal Liverpool on the work and has been producing Four Words project for several years.
Four Words: Academia, Four Words: Market, and Four Words: January are the best known, and many in Liverpool will remember the latter, as an intervention during the Liverpool Provocations series by Metal a few years ago.
The huge screen opposite Liverpool Lime Street was turned into a rotating billboard for visual art in 2016, presenting four word statements where contributors were invited to submit four word statements about value, money and exchange, engaging with teenagers, retired seafarers, ancillary workers and ex-footballers from local communities alongside established artists
Four Words: Future, 2019’s digital intervention, has been produced with Metal Liverpool as part of their Time and Space Residency, and developed with the help of Karl Bartos of Kraftwerk (on auditory media), Mark Stewart of the Pop Group (on the world), visual artist Amina Nazari(on technology), RedmenTV (on faith and football), and young people from Harthill Youth Centre (on youth)
Metal Liverpool’s Time and Space Residency has supported the production of the work, with the organisation giving, as the ongoing residency’s title suggests, the time and space to produce new work with the support of the team at Metal.
The residency is an outstanding programme, and has produced really incredible work over the years, so for any artist working with the programme, it is a chance to make something outstanding, and take a project to its best conclusion
Alan Dunn has been working in and around Liverpool as an artist since the millennium, working on huge projects including tenantspin, a project with FACT than ran for ten years until 2012, a community media project that connected community, art, housing, landlords, tenants and galleries into a conversation that created over 600 hours of Community TV.
Since then, while lecturing at Leeds Beckett University, he has worked with academics, markets, shops, galleries, studios, and artists to produce diverse projects that all explore how working with people can impact on complex issues.
To see the latest version of Four Words, spend January catching up on Channel 4 programming online, or head to Alan Dunn’s YouTube page, where the short film is available to stream on demand.
Available on demand at All4, or Youtube, throughout January 2019