A polyphonic monologue
Ruskin Gallery, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road CB1 1PT
Roundtable is a multi-channel video installation in which several short monologues are delivered simultaneously. It takes its cue from John Barth’s short piece “Glossolalia” in that, though each speech is unique, they all have the same syllabic rhythm — a pattern which may be familiar to some visitors. Each monologue hopes to find its way to its intended recipient, but none of them can be sure of success. A voicemail message, a sealed letter, a dating-site profile… texts shot into the void, hoping like a prayer to be heard.
My video works deal in language, rhythm, and thought experiments. I perform myself somewhere between fictional character and autobiography — using gesture, repetition, and a heady quantity of voiceover — in an attempt to detail the shape of thought. If the videos set themselves impossible tasks, they gamely document the traces of their failure. They aim to etch grooves in the viewer’s brain, and then to incur playback so as to make the deep etchedness apparent: skips, crackles, and all.