For Posterity by Graham Dunning

The Auricle Sonic Arts Gallery
Showing: 12-5pm, 9-30 October, 2014
Opening: 9 October, 6-8pm
1/4″ audio tape, digital audio loop

On the tape, a family’s audio diary from 1958 to 1967. In the last entry, the parents of the family explain to the youngest son the reason for making the recordings. “It’s for posterity,” the father explains. The mother adds, “for your children, and your chi…” She is interrupted and soon the tape ends. This installation is a document of the artist’s attempt to reunite the tape with its makers. The uncanny experience of a disembodied voice playing through a piece of obsolete technology, a ghost in the machine. In the age of digital media, where memories as photographs, videos and audio recordings exist only as numbers on hard-drives and CDs, or online on a distant server, the work calls into question the apparent advantages of digital over analogue technologies; the role of physical artefacts in preserving our own histories; and the function of archiving itself. Recent debates about online privacy focus on the traces of ourselves we leave behind, the ‘right to be forgotten,’ and the implications of policing this on freedom of speech and censorship. These themes are also explored in the installation through the choices of presentation of personal and sensitive material.

Graham Dunning is a London based sonic artist whose practice deals with temporality, memory and narrative through sound, performance and installation, utilizing people’s discarded memories and the function of archiving via found objects, photographs and recordings. Experimentation is fundamental and his practice is often informed by scientific or archaeological protocols.

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