Dualchas at La Biennale Architettura

Hello. I'm Hector MacInnes, a socially engaged sound artist and researcher. I create with spoken word, installation, text, tech, music, radio and speculative design among other things, often in collaboration with other artists and a diverse range of communities. Having grown up on the Isle of Skye, my projects are deeply rooted in sense of place, commmunity, remoteness and lived experience of the more-than-urban, and I now work with these as central themes across the Highlands, Scotland and the wider UK.

I am also working towards a PhD at CRiSAP (Creative Research Into Sound Arts Practice) at UAL, where I am undertaking practice-based research around the concept of the field, anthropocene rurality, and the New Weird.

2024 - [toll]
With Cat Meighan and Sinéad Hargan. A radical archive of miniature statements, stories, wishes, memories, exclamations and demands from Highlanders impacted by the coronavirus pandemic since 2020. Over the course of the spring, this archive will be drawn from contributing communities and individuals, and each short contribution will be inscribed onto a hand-bell, to be rung each time it is needed – collectively and apart, now and in the future.

The project begins with an online discussion exploring the use of bells in their historical contexts and in contemporary creative practice. Join us here.
2023 - [the disobedient choir]
With Sinéad Hargan. An ephemeral choir, based in The Bare Project's "People's Palace of Possibility", which materialised in Lyth, Caithness during July and August 2023. Across three short rehearsals, choir members used their voices to explore the way they respond to instruction, authority and belonging in the context of utopian fantasies.
2023 - [dualchas]
Quadraphonic sound work as part of an audiovisual installation which tells a story of architecture, situatedness, landscape and language in the West Highlands and Islands. Part of Dangerous Liaisons at La Biennale Architettura in Venice. Created with film-maker Peter Marsden and writer Cal Flyn.
2023 - [we have questions]
Devised and curated with Cat Meighan. We Have Questions was a two day practice-as-research gathering of 18 artists, exploring issues around socially engaged practice in contemporary rural settings, such as risk aversion, queerness, climate anxiety and tensions between communities of place and of practice. Copies of the zine of our findings is available on request. WHQ2 will be taking place later in 2024, please get in touch for details on how and when to apply.

Part of my residency with the Highland Culture Colective.
2023 - [highland memory space]
Artist led research and consultation into community responses to the pandemic and its legacies in Highland region. Together with Sinéad Hargan and Cat Meighan, we led sessions focusing on sense-memories of the pandemic, to work towards concepts for a memorial or other response in the public art sphere.

You can download our report [HERE]
2022/3 - [pfft ensemble]
A nebulous improvisers' ensemble using iPads, touchOSC and MAX. Co-designed with inmates of HMP Inverness and community groups, using a circular test-and-learn approach.

Part of my work with the Highland Culture Colective.

You can read a conversation between myself and Arusa Qureshi about my prison work [HERE], and watch a panel discussion I took part in on the amplification of minoritised voices [HERE]

2022/3 - [the listening room]
An exploration of identity, voice and belonging in a mental health setting, through collective listening practices and radio-making.

Part of my work with the Highland Culture Colective.

2022 - [attend]
Installation, Inverness Creative Academy, Nov 2022: Highland Culture Collective artists Catriona Meighan and Hector MacInnes present a series of workshops and talks, share co-created work, and reflect on the meaning of their socially engaged practice.

Part of the Highland Culture Colective.

2022 - [lespie winnachie's loom]
Re-sounding a story of chaos and order, wildlife and weaving from the Tobar An Dualchais archive, created for the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme's 'Storytagging' project.

2021 - 2023 [changing realities]

Ongoing work with social security researchers at the Universities of York, Birmingham and Salford, recording and disseminating the lived experiences of parents and carers on low incomes, first during the covid pandemic, and now during the cost of living crisis.

2021 - [kiosk]
A group exhibition of speculative souvenirs at An Lanntair in Stornoway, built on the myth of the Bùth MhicNeacail (Nicolson's Kiosk). The exhibition was co-curated by Philippa C Thomas and myself and featured artists & makers from across Scotland.

2018 - [inner architecture]

A response to the 1962 Pure Maths Exam, commissioned by the National Library of Scotland for "Re-Sits", celebrating the digitisation of their exam archive. Created in collaboration with singers from across the Isle of Skye, the piece is an exploration of the circular ruins of Dùn Beag - a stone age broch - as a site of maths, music and indeterminacy. Meeting within its walls over the course of 6 weeks, we played with distribution of harmony, chanting, binary counting and improvisation to see what might emerge from the questions in the exam.

2017 - [suspension and disbelief]

The imaginary history of the Hebridean Cable Transit Company, retold in two exhibitions by Philippa C Thomas and I. The first of these celebrated the company's 1950's heyday and featured the complete restoration of gondola #72 ("Effie"), the second explored the hubris and submarine adventure that led to it's demise in the Sound of Harris.

2016 - [the informants]

As adults we often make sweeping predictions ourselves and our world, when the people who live in those futures are already here among us, albeit in child form. The Informants presents edited and anonymised interview content which is, in a playful way, an attempt to get them to “report back” on what those futures are like. This project had two iterations, one for the In Cahoots conference at Sound Festival Aberdeen, and one for Atlas Arts' "Travelling The Archive".

2014 - [the replica hearth]

A collaborative project with Kate McMorrine, exploring the story of 'Eoghann the Yeti', a crofter who mysteriously vanished into woodland on the Isle of Skye in 1984. The work centres around a reconstruction of Eoghann's living room inside a shipping container, and a museum/gift shop housing an exhaustive collection of speculative academia. The exhibition was a journey through his personal life and the contemporary history of his community, but beneath it were clues to something more sublime and unharnessed.

2013 - [story's end]

Created with The Dead Man's Waltz, Story's End was a collective performance exploring the role of death in narrative. It involved film-maker Johnny Barrington, visual artists Kate McMorrine, Cat Ingall and Mark Weallans, and author/performer Hal Duncan. It was perormed in different guises at the Glasgow Short Film Festival, Death: A Festival For The Living at the Southbank Centre, and as part of the Made In Scotland showcase at the Edinburgh Fringe.

2013 - [spin cycle]

A multi-artist performance led by David Littler and Jason Singh (Sampler/Cultureclash), with Anne Martin and Deirdre Nelson, exploring circular movement through sound, music, textiles and folk tales. Performed at Skye Bike Fest and Cecil Sharpe House in Camden.

2013 - [6.42am, 3 dances for children and household appliances]

A piece of alternative chamber-trad, winner of the inaugural Bennett Prize for Traditional Composition, hosted at The Queen's Hall in Edinburgh in honour of the seminal fiddler and producer Martyn Bennett. The excerpts here are performed by Anna Massie, Mairearad Green, Rua MacMillan, Iain Sandilands and Hamish Napier.

coming soon

email: hec dot macinnes at gmail dot com

tel: 07747148465

insta: @hectormacinnes


copyright 2021 Hector MacInnes, All Rights Reserved
header photo of Dualchas (La Biennale Architettura 2023) by Jordan Young