The artists

Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Shudder the thought: a near future fiction in stereo sound, 2017
9 mins duration

7 March – 3 May 2015

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.


Dan Scott
Liberation through Hearing
Looping 4 hours

10 January – 6 March 2015

Taking a cue from Thomas Edison’s off-the-cuff remarks about inventing a Spirit Telephone, Liberation through Hearing explores the telephone’s connection to the afterlife and other worlds, both as analogy and agent for mediumship. The piece operates within a contemporary space of liminality – the on-hold phone system, where an anonymous voice drifts in and out of the earpiece accompanied by an repetitive musical score.

For Telephone, Scott has made a live recording of the default on-hold music installed on 64 million Cisco phone systems worldwide. This sound track is a long-form ritualistic work in itself, with the music performed in real-time over a number of hours by the artist and musicians from ARCO.

Punctuating this composition, are spoken recitals of real and imagined texts, including Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘A History of Spiritualism’; ethnographic accounts of the use of telephones in shamanic cults; the autobiography of Thomas Watson – inventor of the telephone and regular at seances – as well as earlier accounts of the afterlife such as Dante’s ‘Purgatory’ and Emmanuel Swedenborg’s ‘Heaven and Hell’.

On-hold voice: Glyn Pritchard
Musicians: Dan Scott, Neil Luck, Chihiro Ono, Adam De La Coeur.
Music: Opus Number 1 by Tim Carleton & Darrick Deel
Recorded by Reuben Kane.
Mixed by Dan Scott

Alighieri, Dante, and Anthony M. Esolen. Purgatory. New York: Modern Library, 2003.
Barthes, Roland. A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments. New York: Hill and Wang, 1978.
Cocteau, Jean, and Jean Cocteau. The Human Voice. London: Vision, 1951.
Doyle, Arthur Conan. The History of Spiritualism. London: Psychic, 1989.
Edison, Thomas. Interview in The New York Times. New York, 1910.
Lattas, Andrew. Telephones, Cameras and Technology in West New Britain Cargo Cults: University of Sydney, 2000.
Payne, John. ‘The Telephone Harp’ in Carol and Cadence: New Poems 1902-1907. London: Villon Society, 1908.
Ronell, Avital. The Telephone Book: Technology–schizophrenia–electric Speech. Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 1989.
Swedenborg, Emanuel, and George F. Dole. Heaven and Hell. New York: Swedenborg Foundation, 1984.
Wallace, Alfred Russel. Miracles and Modern Spiritualism. New York: Arno, 1975.
Watson, Thomas Augustus. Exploring Life: The Autobiography of Thomas A. Watson. New York: D. Appleton, 1926.


Aura Satz
Dial Tone Drone, 2014
14 mins duration

15 November – 9 January 2015

For Telephone, Satz focusses on the familiar pitch of the electronic dial tone, a signal of live telephonic connection which came into widespread use in 1950s. Considering the dial tone as an open field of potential communication, Satz talked with electronic music pioneers Laurie Spiegel and Pauline Oliveros on the technological and perceptual implications of composing and listening to sustained musical notes, known as drone music. Excerpts of the conversations, recorded via Skype and IPhone, are played against compositions by the two composers, probing the political, musical and conceptual implications of the drone.

Dial Tone Drone features excerpts from ‘Horse Sings From Cloud’ (1975), an accordion score by Pauline Oliveros, and ‘Expanding Universe’ (1974-76), a computerised composition by Laurie Spiegel.

The commission is a companion piece to Satz’s work Dial Tone Operator, currently on show as part of ‘Mirrorcity’ at Hayward Gallery. To coincide with the launch of the commission there will be a live performance with Elaine Mitchener and Jennifer Walshe at the Hayward Gallery on the 15th November at 7pm.

More information at:

Read more about Pauline Oliveros here:
Read more about Laurie Spiegel here:


Holly Pester
Temperament, Temperature: A telephone drama of prolific call, horizontal speeching and an epic of gossip, 2014
11mins duration

19 September – 14 November 2014

Poet Holly Pester has created a speech-based composition inspired by transcriptions of celebrity phone calls she discovered on YouTube.

Intrigued by the extent to which gossip and anecdote can be valued as truth, Pester situates the listener as an eavesdropper onto a relentless stream of chatter that shifts unexpectedly between humour, everyday speech and story-telling.

Recorded and edited onto cassette tape, the artist enhances the texture of the sound and makes technological the human voice, contradicting the intimate character of the dialogue.


Artist biogs

Holly Pester (b.1982 Colchester) is a sound poet and multidisciplinary writer whose AHRC-funded doctoral research examined the poetics of noise, focusing on the effects of broadcast and transmission media on the voice.  She experiments with her own voice in various forms of texts including an investigation into the history and practice of sea shanties, radio transmissions and humour. Her interest in the noise and the sound of speech has led to her performing internationally including events at Festival Expandible, Mexico City;  dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel;  Whitechapel Gallery, London and the Serpentine Galleries, London.  Her forthcoming publications include, ‘Folkslop’, a poetry collection due out with Veer Books late 2014, and a collection of experimental prose with Book Works, 2015.

Aura Satz (b.1974 Barcelona) works in film, sound, performance and sculpture.  She is particularly interested in the history of audio and visual technologies, either at the point of invention or on the brink of obsolescence.  Various projects have focussed on the role played by women in the history of technology, such as the Hollywood actress and mathematician Hedy Lamarr and Natalie Kamus, a colour consultant on major colour films during 1930s and 1940s. Satz has performed, exhibited and screened widely including the Rotterdam Film Festival; the New York Film Festival; Färgfabriken, Stockholm; Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea di Trento, Italy; Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo; FACT, Liverpool; BFI Southbank, London; Tate Modern,  London; Hayward Project Space, London; Whitechapel Gallery, London and the Wellcome Collection, London. Aura Satz is tutor of Moving Image at RCA, London.

Dan Scott (b 1978 London) incorporates installation, performance, sound and text and investigates the politics and poetics of sound and listening.  Dan is currently engaged in a practice-based PhD at the University of the Arts, London on the subject of ways of listening within sound art, and is a lecturer in sound and scenography at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Dan has carried out projects and performed internationally including recent work at Tate Modern, London; Cafe Oto, London; De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea;  Harewood House, Yorkshire; Binaural, Sao Pedro Do Sul.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan (b.1985 Gharifé) frequently deals with the relationship between listening and borders,  human rights, testimony, truth and law, through the production of audio-visual installations, graphic design, sculpture, photography, workshops and performance. Recent solo exhibitions include Showroom, London; Casco, Utrecht and Beirut in Cairo, Cairo. He has participated in group exhibitions at Tate Modern London; M HKA Antwerp; Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven; the Beirut Art Center and The 2012 Taipei Biennial. Abu Hamdan is part of the team Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths College London where he is a PhD candidate and lecturer.


Lawrence Abu Hamdan Shudder the thought: a near future fiction in stereo sound, 2017 9 mins duration 7 March – 3 May 2015 Lawrence Abu Hamdan, an artist currently featured […]