I put a couple of speakers on the wall, above a small table. On this table is a in tray, with copies of the sheet I sent you in it. People are supposed to pick up a sheet and read it as the speech goes on. It is a kind of a game: the audience is supposed to scan the printed phrases and find the spot where the sound file is. It’s a kind of audio “Where’s Wally” game. This sound installation consists of two computer speakers hung on the wall and connected to a mp3 player. The content of the sound file that is played looped is optionally on display on the wall too.
This sound installation is a reflection on information and the way it is distributed and consumed. The 10 minute soundtrack is a constant flow of commands, warnings and statements that one is confronted to every day. These phrases are sclerosed: they were born complete one day and never evolved. They are set pieces of information that are now devoid of sense and meaning, because of their very ubiquity and because of them being ceaselessly repeated. They are like stamps on a passport: they don’t say anything about the country you’re going to, they simply state that all necessary administrative task needed to go there have been completed. They are not here to inform us, but to make sure that whoever uses them can’t be sued. They are failsafe, not to the users, but to the purveyors.
The soundtrack is accompanied by a printed sheet containing all the phrases and words used, printed as one big, continuous, punctuation free block of text (the spoken phrases do not contain punctuation either). I encourage visitors to grab a sheet and read it. Hopefully, they will try and find the place in the text that is matching the spoken words, and therefore pay proper attention to the information delivered to them. My aim is to create a kind of game in which
the visitor interacts passively with the artwork. The fact that the sheet can be folded and taken home, and that the sound files are available on line, is an incentive to carry on playing outside the gallery environment.
All images are copyright of the artist.
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