The Wingspan Measurers, extract from film © 2017 Fani Parali
Sonic arts practitioner Eleni Ikoniadou presents an evening of live performance, sound, film and discussion examining the ubiquitous nature of automated female-sounding voices in contemporary life. Featuring Fani Parali, Libby Heaney, Jennifer Boyd, Elaine Mitchener and Hannah Catherine Jones.
The voice can assume almost any shape, sculpted both by body and technology but reducible to neither. From the mythical voices of the Sirens and the oral histories of funeral lamentation to the vocal experiments of contemporary composers and performers and the wide-spread use of automated voices across the public and private realms – the female-sounding voice continuously invokes new philosophical, political and aesthetic challenges.
Over the course of this event, artist Fani Parali presents Angels Like Buildings featuring performers Maxi More and Rachel Porter; Libby Heaney screens Oh Brian, a new work which uses AI face-swap technology; writer and artist Jennifer Boyd invites the audience to participate in a deep listening of DETOUCH, an audio work made in collaboration with Alice Channer; experimental vocalist Elaine Mitchener and multi-instrumentalist Hannah Catherine Jones present fragments from their sound practices, followed by a discussion with the evening’s chair, Eleni Ikoniadou.
Her Voice examines ideas such as: How might we test mainstream notions of agency and subjectivity, manifest alternative productions of knowledge and power, and acquire new understandings about what it is to be female – or, even, what it is to be human – under the spell of ‘her voice’?
Jennifer Boyd is a writer working in text, sound and performance, and co-curator of SHELL LIKE listening events. Boyd's work has been published in Afterall, After Us, Extra Extra, Orlando and SALT. Long-form texts include Nightbox (ANDOR, 2018), A Theory for the Strange-Girl: Raw Red Text (Country Music, 2017) and Skinned / Detouched (Eastside Projects and Motto Books, 2018), an artist’s book by Alice Channer for which Boyd won the Prix International for Critical Thinking and Contemporary Art Writing. Boyd has presented work at Artsadmin, Guest Projects, The Horse Hospital, Live Art Development Agency, The South London Gallery and Sunday Painter, London; Eastside Projects, Birmingham; Leeds Art Gallery, Yorkshire; Konrad Fischer Galerie, Düsseldorf; Montez Press Radio and ilyd.
Libby Heaney is an artist, researcher and lecturer with a background in quantum physics. Her artistic research is particularly concerned with the impacts of new technologies. She was educated at Central Saint Martins and has tutored at the Royal College of Art since 2014. She has exhibited in the UK and internationally and spoken widely about her work. Heaney is currently a resident of Somerset House Studios and lives and works in London and Margate.
Eleni Ikoniadou is Senior Tutor (Research) in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art. Her research is situated at the intersection between digital media, critical theory and sound art practice. Her writings and practice deal with both the known and unknown impact of new technologies on culture, aesthetics and politics, investigated through the staging of transdisciplinary encounters. She is author of The Rhythmic Event, Art, Media, and the Sonic (MIT Press, 2014), member of the UK-based art collective AUDINT, and editor of the Media Philosophy series (Rowman & Littlefield International).
Hannah Catherine Jones (aka Foxy Moron) is a London-based artist, scholar, multi-instrumentalist, radio presenter and DJ (BBC Radio 3: Late Junction, NTS: The Opera Show), composer, conductor and founder of Peckham Chamber Orchestra (a community project established in 2013). Jones is currently an AHRC DPhil scholar at Oxford University for which the ongoing body of work The Oweds will be presented as a series of live and recorded audio-visual episode-compositions using disruptive sound as a methodology of institutional decolonisation.
Born and raised in East London and of Jamaican ancestry, Elaine Mitchener is a contemporary vocal-movement artist and composer who has worked with leading artists such as Moor Mother, The Otolith Group, George E. Lewis, Sonia Boyce, Christian Marclay, Dam Van Huynh and David Toop. Her UK/European performances include Bimhuis, Café Oto, Venice Biennale, ICA, London and Southbank Centre. Elaine is co-founder of experimental jazz group Hawkins/Mitchener Quartet, founder of electro-acoustic trio The Rolling Calf, and featured vocalist with ensemble Apartment House. Recent performances and commissions include SWEET TOOTH, Vocal Classics of the Black Avant-Garde, b r e a d t h b r e a t h (commissioned by LCMF) and the then + the now = now time (commissioned by Berliner Festspiele MaerzMusik).
Fani Parali’s practice includes sculpture, large-scale painting and installation, moving image, sound and performance. She creates situations in which different medium components are choreographed, often through directing and collaborating with performers. Parali aims to create a sense of intimacy, shared aloneness and warmth that can be felt through the mediation of the voices she imagines, creates and communicates.