Robin Rimbaud

Robin Rimbaud portrait

British artist Robin Rimbaud, known also as Scanner, traverses the experimental terrain between sound, space, image and form, creating absorbing, multi-layered sound pieces that twist technology in unconventional ways. Curiously, having played guitar since he was a teenager, Githead is his first opportunity to voice this unrecognised talent in the public sphere, eschewing electronics for six strings and an amp.

As well as producing compositions and audio CDs, his diverse body of work includes soundtracks for films, performances, radio and site-specific intermedia installations. He has performed and created works in many of the world's most prestigious spaces, including SFMOMA (USA), Hayward Gallery (London), Pompidou Centre (Paris), Kunsthalle (Vienna), Hanoi Opera House (Vietnam), Bolshoi Theatre (Moscow), Tate Modern (London) and the Royal Opera House (London).

Sampled by Björk and Aphex Twin, admired by Stockhausen, he's a frequent flyer whose works have taken him across the globe and back again. His projects continually seek to break new ground: in 1999 he performed Surface Noise on a London Bus around the city; in 2000 he performed over 20km of beach in Italy, on the public speaker system; he re-soundtracked Jean Luc Godard's seminal film Alphaville; he wrote the soundtrack to a working morgue in Paris in 2002; and he most notoriously played 16 concerts in just one evening with a series of lookalikes across the globe. In 2003, Robin became the first electronic artist to ever perform in Vietnam, and in 2004 he composed an alternative National Anthem for Europe, Europa 25, whilst his Sound Surface work was the first ever Tate Modern sound-art commission.

He doesn't drink alcohol, tea, coffee, smoke or watch TV, but he does have an addiction to white bread and milk, and has kept a diary every day since he was 12 years old, never missing a daily entry.

w: Scanner on

Selected discography

Scanner: 52 Spaces

CD cover art

Commissioned by The British School at Rome for film director Michelangelo Antonioni's 90th birthday in 2002, this work charts a tender narrative of seductive conversation, musical fragments and city soundscapes. In align with its accompanying performance, this is a very personal and intimate work.

More on 52 Spaces.

Scanner: Scanner 1

CD cover art

The controversial debut CD on Ash International that sampled intercepted cellular phone conversations of unsuspecting talkers, bringing into focus issues of privacy and the dichotomy between the public and the private spectrum. Words melt down to radio hiss, creating audio transparencies of dreamy, cool ambience. I wasn't prepared for the massive response to such modest ideas.

Scanner: Nemesis

CD cover art

Composed for Random Dance Company in London, this performance and subsequent soundtrack explores the relationship between body, screen and machine: extraterrestrial dance meets reality TV. Moody, dynamic and melancholic, this is representative of much of the work I produce for dance companies and theatre.

More on Nemesis.