Satie 840: Making and Unmaking, Repair and Repetition

Jill Townsley (Artist), Helen Carnac (Curator)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Time, repetition and a sense of inherent materiality in the making process are immediately apparent in ‘Satie 840’ (2007.) Here Jill Townsley attempts to ‘experience what 840 repetitions feels like - by chalking numbers on a blackboard.
‘Starting at one, each number was drawn and rubbed out by hand then replaced by the next number in basic numerical sequence. The whole process is repeated until the number 840 is reached’. (Townsley, J 2010) Through a process of mark making, erasing and repetition, the artist builds an appreciation of rhythm and time systematically.

As the process develops the chalk surface grows and the numbers, at first difficult to remove by hand, begin to disappear seamlessly into the build-up of chalk on the blackboard. This simple repetitious exercise holds the meditative and repairing element of the making process within it.
(Carnac, H. 2010). Axis Online, curated selections.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


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  • Satie 840

    Townsley, J., 2006

    Research output: Non-textual formArtefact

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