Speech Acts, series of megaphone performances and projects, 2016—ongoing.
I remember the song was written in very plain English and went something like this…, 2018.
This work was first performed as part of a sound walk through Avantwhatever Festival. Through the walk, audience members were guided between different sonic performance works that responded to the site of the Merri Creek in Brunswick. For my performance audience members were encouraged to lie on the basketball court with me, filling their vision with the sky.
This work was performed at a distance for the exhibition Holes (working title), curated by Therese Keogh at Our Neon Foe, Sydney. In this instance, the megaphone was transported to Sydney via plane, and rang up at a designated time to speak the text, which was projected through the megaphone via them phones speakerphone.
One-sided Address, 2016—2017.
This work was initially conceived as part of a Residency at the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture, in the Alpine Region of Victoria. At the time, I wrote a letter to the site, and filmed myself delivering it. That script, along with other associated letters, can be read on the BCSC blog here.
The work acts as a response to the landscape, conversing with a site by yelling my side on the conversation through a megaphone, which is a common tool used on work sites, in crowd management, and activism.
In response the site of an old copper mine in Queenstown, Tasmania, I was interested in the history of the land as a producer of capital, and how the copper mine industrialised the area and the influx of population and subsequent reduction in population once the mine temporarily, yet indefinitely, closed. I responded to the material makeup of the land and how the mining has affected its appearance and the way it produces life (or in some areas doesn’t), as well as thinking about mining/”mine”ing. By this I mean, the mining of the land which produces rich resources, and the claiming of the land because of the resources it produces by the colonial figure from its indigenous owners.
The second time this work was performed at Bogong Village, it was developed around thinking about floods as an anti-imperialist gesture, and how floods un-moor human understanding and experience. The script for this performance can be read here.
Furthering this echo, loudspeakers were installed through the village that played a re-recorded version of this work at irregular intervals, so that in the weeks following the performance, the announcement or address re-sounded to the empty village, lake, and dam.
This project was possible thanks to the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture supported residency, Liquid Architecture and the Unconformity Festival, Queenstown, Phantasmagoria, an exhibition at BCSC, and the Australia Council for the Arts.
Thinking about archives and the sort of histories and knowledge they represent, and how these "move" with us, I've been developing a work that looks at how music acts as a sort of key or calling card system that recalls memories or feelings buried within us. Related to this is the idea of all these knowledges we each carry within us being all mixed together, "fermenting" and starting as individual experiences but progressively developing into a sort of new material or whole that determines how we move through the world. Music acts as a way to sieve these individual moments in history or affects out of the soup, like hearing a forgotten song on the radio.
Image credits: Luke Barrett, Keelan O’Hehir, Tim Grey, Therese Keogh, and artists own.