In this new work created for the South London Gallery, Furlong used voices, primary and incidental sounds drawn from the past 30 years of his major creative research project, Audio Arts. The work aimed to discover to what extent verbal language in non-narrative forms can communicate meanings and ideas through evocation, oral sounds and nuances rather than literal words and sentence constructions.
Resonant fragments of sentences, words, hesitations, the said and the unsaid ‘uhms and ahs’ were mapped into the Gallery. The sounds are heard from 32 loud speakers installed just above head height on a tracery of taut wires stretched across and along the gallery. In this work the recorded voice and its juxtapositions are used to provide a rich exposure of the traces, the residue of meaning, the said and the un-said, the implication the innuendo, the inference combined with the associations of time and place. The ebb and flow of voices around the Gallery created a constantly shifting acoustic environment, and required the visitor to move around the spaces to various audial focuses within gallery. Here the acoustic environment of the real world enters the gallery and visitors become part of the larger conversation, the totality of which is never fully or simultaneously disclosed. The strategy of the work was to remove sections and sequences from Audio Arts’ archival recordings, and to re-edit and programme them into new configurations and sequences that are then ‘mapped’ into the Gallery space in order to explore communication outside of conventional language together with the characteristic and expressive layers that underlie verbal communication. The piece was programmed using a hard disc digital recorder/player.