Zata Banks FRSA and Joe Banks

Zata and Joe Banks 1_600w

Winner of the Cambridge Assessment Award for an artwork on the theme of ‘Language and Light’

The Act of Creation
Ruskin Gallery, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road CB1 1PT
Mon-Sat 10:00-16:30

The Act of Creation is a vividly illuminated sign, articulating a humorous and thought-provoking conceptual play on the Biblical quotation “fiat lux” [“let there be light”].

The idea expressed by this artwork unifies two disparate interpretations of the creation myth in the Western tradition, the first being “let there be light”, and the second being “in the beginning was the word”.

The Act of Creation is a collaborative neon-sign artwork by Zata Banks FRSA and Joe Banks. Joe Banks is the founder of the art project Disinformation, and author of the research monograph “Rorschach Audio – Art & Illusion for Sound”. Joe’s book articulates the view that “the earliest form of sound recording technology was not a machine but was written language”, and The Act of Creation extrapolates that axiom through the medium of light producing technology. Zata Banks is a brand consultant, artist, and the founder of the influential research art project PoetryFilm. Zata’s artworks focus on semiotics, transcreation and multimodality, exploring the creation, perception, communication and experience of emotion and meaning. It is particularly relevant in the context of the neon sign fabrication for The Act of Creation artwork, that the field of semiotics was defined by the philosopher C.W. Morris as (literally) being “the science of signs”.

Disinformation was founded in 1995, and produced a series of highly influential LPs and CDs, before crossing over into the fields of sound installation, kinetic and video art, and pure research. Disinformation producer Joe Banks is a former AHRC funded Research Fellow at Goldsmiths College and The University of Westminster, and is the author of a monograph on psychoacoustics published as “Rorschach Audio – Art & Illusion for Sound”. In 2000, Disinformation contributed The Analysis of Beauty light installation to the Noise exhibition at Kettle’s Yard. From 2000 onwards, Disinformation has exhibited a hugely influential light and sound installation called The Origin of Painting nearly 30 times, at venues including The Hayward Gallery, Fabrica (Brighton) and CCCB (Barcelona). In 2007, Disinformation also performed with cold plasma light sources and neon tubes, etc. for the “National Grid” performance at the “Enter Unknown Territories” festival at The Junction in Cambridge. Disinformation installations have been described as “actively thrilling” by The Financial Times, The Sound Projector (music magazine) spoke of Disinformation producing “potent drug-like trances of utter black mysteriousness”, The Metro newspaper described Disinformation as “the black-ops unit of the avant-garde”, and The Guardian stated that “Disinformation combine scientific nous with poetic lyricism to create some of the most beautiful installations around”.

Let There Be Language – a short talk at Anglia Ruskin University – 2016/10/18/let-there-be- language-talk/

PoetryFilm is the highly influential research art project and screening series founded in 2002 by Zata Banks, to celebrate experimental text/image/sound artworks, and to explore semiotics and meaning-making within this art form. PoetryFilm has produced over 80 events at galleries, cinemas, literary festivals and academic institutions – including Art Language Location 2015, Tate Britain, The ICA, Southbank Centre, CCCB Barcelona, O Miami, and Curzon Cinemas. Lectures about PoetryFilm have been presented for courses such as MA Creative Writing (Warwick University), MA Filmmaking (National Film & Television School), MA Visual Communication (Royal College of Art), and BA Graphic Design (University of Lincoln). Zata Banks has judged poetry film prizes for the Southbank Centre (London), Zebra Festival (Berlin), Cyclop Festival (Kiev, Ukraine), Apples & Snakes (UK) and Carbon Culture Review (USA). The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary British & Irish Poetry recently stated that “recent signs of poetry cine-literacy include Zata Banks’ PoetryFilm nights”, AQNB magazine described how “the PoetryFilm art project continues to play with the avant-garde”, and Conclave Magazine recently stated that “the peerless PoetryFilm is back with a vengeance”.

Cambridge Assessment
Established more than 150 years ago, the Cambridge Assessment Group operates and manages the University’s three exam boards and has the largest research capability of its kind. It is a not-for-profit organisation developing and delivering educational assessment to eight million candidates in 170 countries every year.

The Group is the parent body of Oxford, Cambridge and RSA (OCR), Cambridge International Examinations and Cambridge English Language Assessment, which offer qualifications that are valued and recognised by universities, employers, governments, immigration authorities, professional bodies and education providers around the world.

In 2018 Cambridge Assessment will be moving to the Triangle, its new international headquarters at Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge. This will bring together all Cambridge Assessment’s central Cambridge based staff – currently based at 11 different sites – into one headquarters.  The building design is both contemporary and in keeping with the neighbouring conservation area and surrounding buildings. It includes a courtyard entrance and extensive green and outdoor spaces as well as a 39m tower that will be a landmark when approaching Cambridge from the south of the city.  It will also feature a major piece of public art by Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier on the entrance and the tower that will feature layer upon layer of script in different languages and scripts printed onto glass.

The Act of Creation by Zata Banks FRSA and Joe Banks – cold plasma test 2016
credit: Joe Banks