Points of Failure

Points of Failure is an ongoing series of concerts and installations in which I work with miscellaneous objects and repurposed audio equipment to create an audiovisual performance-environment.


Points of Failure, Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro – Photo: I Hate Flash

By using DIY electronics, found objects, light and sound making circuits, I experiment live with the musical potential of everyday materials, in response to the architectural features of the performance space. Though field recording equipment is often used (e.g. hydrophones, air pressure microphones, electromagnetic coils etc) Points of Failure works entirely with live processes and no prerecorded sound material occurs during the performance.

Points of Failure at Sonic Protest, Paris – Photo: Cindy Voitus

The event usually takes place in the centre of the venue and expands out into performance space, creating a series of over lapping and intertwined spatialised light and sound relationships.


Points of Failure environments have previously involved horn speakers, light bulbs, popping candy, tesla coils, air horns, spark gaps, satellite dishes, smoke pellets, car horns, water drips, hydrophones, bass shakers, bells, modular synthesisers, self made stringed instruments, balloons, transducers, speaker cones, rain, fans, solenoids, contact microphones, DIY circuitry and motors.

Through the making and unmaking of objects, building hybrid mechanisms for making noise, unfolding a messy and eclectic multi sensory experience a mesmeric, multi-sensory environment occurs one in which sound, light, smoke, smell and movement intertwine.


Points of Failure has been performance at the following venues worldwide:

  • Jeanne Barret, Marseille, France w/ Explorations Festival
  • Sanatorium of Sound, Sokołowsko, Poland
  • Instants Chavirés, Paris, France w/ Sonic Protest
  • NNOI Festival, Bradenburg, Germany
  • Cave12, Geneva, Switzerland
  • LUFF, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Museum of Modern Art (MAM), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil w/ Novas Frequencias
  • Top Klub, Serrinha du Alambari, Brazil w/ Silo
  • Klub Spatif, Warsaw, Poland w/ Gerard Lebik
  • Sanatorium, Sokołowsko, Poland w/ Gerard Lebik
  • CAMP, Aulus les Bains, France
  • Garage MU, Paris, France w/ Phil Niblock
  • Culture Lab, Newcastle, UK, w/ John Bowers and Rob Blazey
  • IKLECTIK, London, UK w/ Dirty Electronics
  • Glad Cafe, Glasgow, UK w/ Dirty Electronics
  • Dai Hall, Huddersfield, UK w/ Dirty Electronics
  • FUSE, Bradford, UK w/ Dirty Electronics
  • Star and Shadow, Newcastle, UK w / Dirty Electronics

Points of Failure has been kindly supported by Arts Council England and was developed in partnership with Brazilian partners Novas Frequencias and Silo – Art and Rural Latitude.

Performance of Points of Failure at LUFF 2020

LUFF // Interview – Tim Shaw from LUFF on Vimeo.