With Salvage and Knife Tongue – 2012.
Generative four channel video and sound installation. Duration: Infinite.
Installation view, Adelaide International 2012: Restless.
With Salvage and Knife Tongue examines how Indigenous people in the United States and Australia have appropriated the English language as a means of rationalizing and representing their respective cultural and political identities. To achieve this, the piece evaluates Cherokee and Pitjantjatjara uses of English through features like annunciation, intonation, and accentuation. This process produces a generative synthesis of varying Indigenous experiences of colonization geographically -- as Northern and Southern Hemispheres, American and Australian; and sonically as individuals representing unique cultures, and ethnicities. The immersive installation environment features a semi-circle of four large suspended video projection screens that showcase generative combinations of American and Australian Indigenous people articulating lines of a poem with varying combinations of actors, stanzas, and simultaneity. Their speech is analyzed in real time, applying analysis and re-synthesis of sound using audio convolution and morphing algorithms. This synthesis technique allows the characteristics of speaker’s voices to influence each other, yielding the similarities and differences between their vocal expressions that result in the creation of new voices of shared experience.