Voice Array – Temporary Archive Of Visible Voices

Voice Array

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer has been developing a certain attitude through his artworks, which feature space ordered matrixes and arrays of machine-controlled materials whose reactive movements unequivocally manifest an autonomous intelligence hidden somewhere. The same can be said for “Voice Array“, commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. It consists of a dark horizontal strip attached to a wall with hidden LEDs on the top and bottom and an intercom. It’s a system of recording and playback: each new recording “pushes” the previous one along the strip and when the recording reaches its end it is released as sound, triggering pulsating lights. The feeling of being able “to see” a voice through abstract graphical patterns recalls other artworks (such as Levin’s “Messa di Voce”), but here the output sequence is an open improvisation led by spectators. The work becomes an ever-changing vocal “archive” of spoken fragments, rendered as flashing audio waveforms and a temporary and very volatile sonic memory.