During Wolves Lit Fest weekend award winning public arts company Aswarm with their crack team of VEAROs are out to harness the power of the ‘collective voice’ of Wolverhampton and the Black Country. Over the weekend of the festival ghost buster-esque ‘voice collectors’ (Voice Extraction And Rediffusion Operatives ) will be in venues around the city with some intriguing apparatus inviting members of the public to contribute their voices to the project.
Participants’ voices are sucked into an elaborate backpack machine which uses sticky vocal vapour to transform voices into a physical substance, which is corked in a ‘vocal vessel’. They are then given the chance to hold and even hug their voice, revelling in its uniqueness, whilst also contributing to the wider goal of finding Wolverhampton’s Essence de Voix. The project aims to capture the undefinable element which lifts the voice beyond just its sound and which holds the complex combination of shared experience, history, emotion and ambition for the people of Wolverhampton.
The recorded and bottled samples are to be used to create a ‘Voice Park’, a physical multisensory public installation made from an orchestra of interactive voice pods. Each pod is interactive, breathing, listening and responding to the visitor with light, sound and vibration. The bank of voices will be held by the Centre for Black Country Studies, University of Wolverhampton for future researchers and learners to use.
Phase 1 of Voice Park: The Vearo's out gathering voices from across the city.
Phase 2 is Voice Park Installation: We will return to gather all the disparate voices into one central place, A Voice Park, wher we can explore and play with the collective voice of our city.
This project has been made possible in Wolverhampton with the generous support of Art Fund. For more information go to aswarm.com