Inspired by the radical publication of The Yellow Book in 1890s, this three-part radio series by artist Rachel Cattle imagines the colour yellow as a subversive baton passed through time.
Through this series, Cattle will bring to the fore the historical and contemporary dialogue between often-sidelined writers, artists and musicians who share similar experimental and intuitive approaches, and political concerns.
With the colour as a continuous point of reference, these programmes collage material drawn from newspaper articles, readings from books, letters and notebooks, descriptions of the experimental working practices of early electronic musicians, and sounds from domestic appliances, as well as musical instruments.
Each programme constructs a specific but different soundscape, taking cues from stream-of-consciousness writing, repetition and multiple voices as explored in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1892), Novel on Yellow Paper by Stevie Smith (1936), and The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing (1962).
Listen to the Programmes
Episode 1: The Yellow Wallpaper
The ‘important information’ to be ‘highlighted’ in The Yellow Wallpaper is a deliberately DIY homemade approach, including description’s of a 1970s mail art collective, lists of objects and descriptions of working processes amongst the background noise of everyday life. The wallpaper becomes the space in which to ‘create your own terrain’ (Jutta Koether).
Episode 2: Notes on Yellow Paper
Sentences extracted from a Kim Gordon interview weave between descriptions of Sylvia Plath and Delia Derbyshire’s working methods amongst notes, scientific facts and external and domestic sounds, mirroring the characters, thoughts and events that flow in and out of Stevie Smith’s novel.
Episode 3: The Golden Notebook
Readings from a collection of newspaper cuttings describing the life and work of female artists, writers and musicians, referencing the content of Doris Lessing’s novel, particularly one chapter which consists entirely of newspaper headlines and articles.
This programme was made by Rachel Cattle, PhD Candidate in Fine Art, Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Kingston University London.
It was broadcast as part of the first series of Modulations: Broadcasting Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, on Resonance 104.4fm.