Kynics Theme

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Audio commission

Susannah Stark and Donald Hayden

Soundscape Park, Miami, USA (Film and Sound programme at Art Basel Miami Beach)

December 2016


A collaboration between Donald Hayden and Susannah Stark.

The artists explored the possibilities of the fable or folk tale as a form of knowledge transferrence, referring to examples in both ancient greek and jamaican culture. In fables; animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature can be given human qualities such as the ability to use their voice, to give advice or information, or sometimes to teach a lesson.

This work was also inspired by the writings of the ancient greek kynics, who were reacting against the materialistic culture of their time.

The resulting work is a recording in two parts, by two voices that run parallel, intersecting spatially across each other in a surround sound environment, then heard finally together at once and on top of each other in a sculptural experience. 

Low-fi sound effects create a sense of echo and disorientation - used in homage to reggae and dub tracks of the 1970’s - to bring about a metaphoric space of freedom and change, punctuated by layers of disembodied, digitised voices.

This work is intended to expose elements of language embedded in daily life, to highlight the flow of things – language – dominating our attention, and to create space for the listener to slow down and comtemplate.


Supported by Daata Editions and Art Basel