Counting 2015 

21 February 2015

Counting 2015 Collage of pictures and words

Counting 2015 is a work for voice, electronics and visual projections exploring the affect of numbers in contemporary life. Numbers are no longer cold calculations, but have become a central part of how we convey emotion, recognition and connection. From the quotidian emotional power of metrics to the body counts tallied by new human rights movements, such as Black Lives Matter and Counting Dead Women, numbers are entered into our phatic repertoire. Drawing upon improvised and extended vocal techniques typified by the work of composer Luciano Berio and vocalists Cathy Berberian and Diamanda Galás, Counting 2015 uses the extremities of the human voice and live processing to highlight the complexity of our new found sensibility to numbers.

Datasets related to the Syrian Civil War were shaped into a scrolling graphic score for voice and electronics. Through a process of crowdsourcing, videos of people counting were sourced from social networks as the generative audio-visual material from which the work is made.

Drawing upon the trajectory of web artists like Jonathan Harris, Aaron Koblin and Eric Whitacre who have used social media as a key point of connection with audiences as actors within their work, Counting 2015 asks its participants, contributing via Facebook, to reflect upon the emotional and human consequences of numbers they encounter in that space. In this way the composer acts as curator and facilitator of a discussion in online communities, where participants are both audience members and performer-collaborators


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