Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Shudder the thought: a near future fiction in stereo sound, 2017
9 mins duration
7 March – 3 May 2015
Wooden K2 Telephone Kiosk,
Burlington House entranceway,
Piccadilly W1J 0BD
Telephone is a series of sound works commissioned for the first red telephone kiosk ever made by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, which stands outside the Royal Academy. Holly Pester, Aura Satz and Dan Scott have all presented a new sound work on the phone line and the 4th and final commission launched on 7 March is by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, an artist currently featured in New Museum Triennial and the commissioned artist for Armory in New York.
Renowned for his examination of the use of the voice in law, Lawrence Abu Hamdan presents us with a prophetic tale in which we are warned of the advances of invasive audio-recording technology.
A man’s voice, speaking from the year 2017, tells us how one’s speech can be traced by measuring the indentation of its sound vibrations upon a surface. In this new world objects, furniture and architecture may all become complicit in storing our conversations. As the first machine to communicate the voice back-and-forth over distance, the telephone is the device used by the protagonist to proclaim his message.
The piece includes live recordings of this kiosk alongside sound recordings courtesy of Abe Davis, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab.