Manchester International Festival, 2011
Text and direction – Lavinia Greenlaw
Sound design – Tim Barker
Fabricator and installer – Steely Trees
Underscore – Harry Escott
Sound production by Somethin’ Else
Photography by James Whitaker
Manchester Piccadilly Station Saturday 2 – Sunday 17 July 2011
London St Pancras International Station 13 September – 23 October 2011
Co-commissioned by Artangel and Manchester International Festival, Audio Obscura is a sound work by award-winning poet and novelist Lavinia Greenlaw. In an aural equivalent to the camera obscura, the audience experienced the project in a solitary way – hearing fragments of individual narratives, glimpses of interior worlds drawn from monologues that glance off one another, hovering between speech and unconscious thought.
The design of the kiosk is inspired by the geometry of a seashell – a common reference to sound and hearing – and camera obscura. It is a temporary kiosk where 42 headsets are stored and distributed to the public. In Piccadilliy Station, the kiosk appears to penetrate the glazed concourse, drawing attention from the train platforms. In St Pancras station, the kiosk is located in the middle of the arcade, visible from all sides and the second floor.
During the day, the front elevation folds into a desk for the invigilators, and at night the kiosk is fully closed, with event details on its door.