FREYA: What does Privacy Look Feel & Sound Like- Viv

You don’t need to look at the film footage of Viv Corringham’s presentation.  Don’t look.  Just listen.

I’m not saying that the film footage from VOME’s Privacy Workshop for Artists is boring, it is actually very interesting; you’ll see us all there, the film crew going slightly crazy with camera angles and shake, Viv talking,  Rika drawing, Jonathan quietly making notes, sitting / lying / curled up workshop participants, study of faces –  some looking happy, rather attractive, intense, closed eyes, flickering eyes, in a different world.  There is an in-depth study of my nose.  On film, there is enough to keep me visually occupied, for my mind to roam and wander off subject – big time.

How often do we pick up on and truly hear the real meaning of sounds, words, the sounds of the words, their intention, hidden clues and meanings?  What would we learn, if started to listen truly and deeply?

The sounds of the words.  Or is it the meaning of the words, the pitch, the rhythms, the stillness that matter? A state of being, the sentiments, the sudden thoughts, the internal sounds leaking and spilling out:

‘The Voice’ is On-line, I can’t see her, but I hear the tone tightening, it squeezes tight and sounds as if its coming out of a hole – water coming through a tight space,  spurting out in quick little bursts, it could be a strangled baby trumpet, a little tight contained  sound, strangled like a kitten’s sound could be, then bursting out in the open, its talking about something; ‘its the neighbours’, it says, ‘they keep things so neat, they mow the lawn’.  Sweet and sour, a hint of bitterness, fragileness, pressure, it could tear, a lack of having, being without, looking from the outside.  The drama, the sentiment, the stories – they are all there and also in my mind.

I first saw Viv Corringham On-line.  Standing on her own making private sounds in public.  At Kings Cross.  Viv Corringham is a Sound Artist who communicates other people’s private thoughts. She listens and records them during a walk of their familiar route, walking by their side, later to re-walk their route on her own, singing to their stories she’s listened to.  She calls the recordings ‘Shadow walks’ and says her voice becomes a ‘ghost’ of the memories and associates.

The people she records knows that she is recording them, she checks things through, makes them aware how the recording will be used, lets them listen to it, and they then give their consent for this to be shared.

It is easy to record people without them knowing, I just noticed a recording devise on my mobile phone.  This would have been very handy while I was growing up, I used to enjoy recording people, without them knowing, I sometimes still do.

If we truly listen, people will often reveal inner private moments.  Sometimes they won’t realize that their words, sounds, pitch, rhythm and stillness is from somewhere within their core and others’ can hear this, if they listen – deeply.  Viv says people literally undress for a sound recording, as they would for if being painted; being painted or recorded merging into a space where people reveal privacy in different forms.

Viv is standing outside Kings Cross Station, and you can view this ShadowWalk through Bloomsbury On-Line.  You will also find that nobody is noticing her.  That, I find interesting, you can see this here

Justin Durrel says that someone has to be really interested in what you are doing, to really want to look / listen to your private moments. As we don’t know what interests other people, we can never be certain how private moments actually are.  Maybe nobody’s really very interested in us, and our exciting private moments or maybe they are….  Maybe they are too busy with their own private moments and stories to bother themselves with ours or maybe our private moments are a welcome distraction to their own lives.   Most of us are irrelevant.   Unless, of course, our stories and moments could sell well in the newspapers, or unless our private thoughts make us a commercial target, or if we have a sudden burst of Internet fame – then there are no limits.

Thanks for listening, more sound next week with Karina Townsend