The Vinyl Factory Press at White Cube

7 February 2015

To coincide with Christian Marclay’s solo exhibition at White Cube, The Vinyl Factory Press – a unique hydraulic vinyl pressing machine – will allow visitors to witness on site, the unique process of producing vinyl records, from the initial recording of the concerts to cutting and pressing the records, and printing the sleeves. Marclay’s work explores connections between sound, noise, photography, video, and film. And as a pioneer of using gramophone records and turntables as musical instruments to create sound collages, Marclay’s long-standing interest in the relationship between image and sound, results in the perfect collaboration with The Vinyl Factory Press.

The VF Press is housed in a seven-tonne shipping container with fully opening panels, enabling people to view this fascinating process. On the far left of the container is the extruder, which prepares the raw material into a heated puck that is placed by hand onto the 12″ Alpha Toolex press. This then operates on a 60-second pressing cycle, and applies 100 tons of force to enable the nickel stampers to form the audio grooves, and create high-qulaity vinyl discs weighing 170gms.


Vinyl record manufacturing requires ancillary equipment to provide services to the record presses. On the right of the press, three air-activated valves control the heating and cooling cycles of the press. A centrifugal pump, hrdraulic power pack, and electrically powered boiler provide the energy sources required, while a complex arrangement of pipework, heat exchanger and tanks manage the cooling water to precise temperatures that are necessary to produce a premium quality record.

The crucial ingredient of PVC granules:


The end product:


Christian Marclay at White Cube, Bermondsey, runs to 12 April 2015.

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