Working Title: ‘…(Pause)…’
Materials: Video and audio documentation from when I hosted ‘GROUP’ event;
Final Cut Pro and Audacity Editing Software
Running time: TBC
What is it? An abstract video narrative which uses the recorded content from a previous
‘GROUP’ live conversation. The content is edited to remove all coherent meaning, and a new
meaning is created through a concentrated focus on body gestures and the sounds made in between articulated words. The framework of the piece comes from rational speech, but the work transforms into something visceral, which we understand only through our instinct.
We respond to a piece of music with a similar natural intuition.
I want to create a kind of abstract ‘music’ by transforming logical sounds and images.
During the live ‘GROUP’ I asked participants to try to focus on listening, rather than thinking about their own voice. In the same method of concentration, this video work will focus the eyes and the ears towards tiny details; mishaps in speech, subtle hand gestures, wandering eyes.
These mannerisms are what make us human and connect us to one another, in a greater way than the literary contents of our speech, or the character we aim to project.
Circle of 10 eyes, 10 ears – watching, then not watching as the voice tries to push words out with
breath; the collaborative act of speaking and breathing is lost in an instant, a concerted effort to
engage these two simple acts. Speech running like a dribble of liquid between rocks on an upward
slope… Meanwhile, the 10 eyes look away, shifting from a quick glance over to the voice, then
manoeuvring the eyes back to an uncomfortable position. The circle of 10 eyes sit hot in the
sockets, trying to remain still; the circle of 10 ears listen intently yet aim to convey a relaxedness,
when in fact they flinch at every murmur of breathlessness, every inappropriate pause between
words. Speech is still disjointed although now running like a raindrop on a dirty window pane (run
then stop then change direction, then run then stop), better control yet needs improvement in the
flow. Connected to the 10 eyes and 10 ears, is a circle of twitching fingers, fiddling fingers,
embracing and cupping one another in amongst the awkward stillness. Metal rings adorn some, the
perfect object to preoccupy oneself with moving, readjusting, returning to again and again, the eyes
and the mind (hidden behind the eyes) know the circular metal object is always there, it cannot
move by itself, and yet the fingers feel inclined to check…..the absent mind? The falsifying mind…
Vocal chords shiver, encased yet laid bare for the circle of 10 eyes to watch their hesitance, the
circle of 10 ears to notice how they quiver, the circle of fingers to feel their tension, the circle of
minds to uphold how they stumble!
Seconds combine and produce 1 minute – the voice slowly slowly gains purpose, the marriage of
speaking and listening is turning amicable, happier in each others company as each second turns
over and submits to the past.
More seconds turn, and the flow is growing stronger, now taking prominence within the space,
improving improving like an outside tap left on to run gently, continual trickle, with just the
occasional obstruction, natural obstructions that make the voice human.
Slowly slowly, the circle relaxes, 10 eyes, 10 ears, fingers and minds sink minutely deeper and all
together release the group tension, through 5 subtle, silent discharges of stale air, and then 5 subtle,
silent admissions of new, calm air, unspoiled and unashamed.
This accompanying text describes the first 2 minutes of the video documentation from ‘GROUP’: the nervous opening. Text is to be read alongside watching the video clip.