Possibility & Impossibility Of Fixing Meaning

A short (and shaky) doc of William Furlong’s installation Possibility & Impossibility Of Fixing Meaning at Laure Genillard, 2 Hanway Place, London until 9 April.

The sound is fairly indistinct and messy until one gets closer to the roughly canvas-sized frames where the directional aspect of the voices can be properly heard. It’s impossible to find any kind of proper narrative or conversation going on inside the chattering hubub of voices mainly constituted by short phrases of conversational hiccups, uhms and half finished sentences. As a whole, the space sonically resembles a sleepy pub or some other public meeting space and the closer one listens, the more hypnotising and numbing the effect becomes.

Furlong (who is the man behind Audio Arts Magazine cassette series, which from 1973 has collected interviews from a broad range of contemporary artists) culled the voices used for the compositions from his no doubt extensive archive, and so the impression one gets when listening to the vocal snippets intermingle is as if Furlong took all the stuttering and stammering from the years of collected recordings and amped it up rather than cuting them out as with radio/tv audio editing.

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