You wouldn't understand me even if I was shouting
Installation based on a sound experiment.
This installation was inspired by an article by Bernard Cassen, where he discussed the four main blocks of people that share the English language in order to communicate with each other (English, Chinese, Romance languages, and Arab speakers). It was displayed in a precise context, the University of Wales where these observations made by Cassen were, in fact, taking place.
This work had as its main objective to expose English speakers to the other three most-spoken languages in the world, and make them feel lost, displaced and out of their comfort zone, as well as to raise awareness about the difference between hearing and listening as passive and active doings, respectively.
To this end, and using the recorded voices of native speakers from Spain, China and Iran, I systematically distilled the voices into their sonic essence. This process was inspired by Alvin Lucier's work. Using these people own spoken voices as a sound source, I recorded a short sentence (“You wouldn’t understand me even if I was shouting”) in a room onto a tape machine. This recording was then played back on a second tape machine through a speaker into the same room and re-recorded onto the original tape machine. This was repeated 15 times. The result is the slow transformation of the voices from recognizable speech into harmonic ringing tones as the resonant frequencies of the room are continuously reinforced.
The accompanying images were shot at the same time as the voices were recorded, and were subsequently edited to mirror the sound.