Aquaphoneia

Examining and deconstructing sound technology and the transmission of information, Navid Navab & Michael Montanaro’s Aquaphoneia is something like a record player reverse-engineered by a people who can speak underwater. Visitors can speak into a large horn and hear their words ‘transcribed’ by a series of obscure glass instruments into a burbling, underwater tongue. These sounds are then fed through other strange machines: kinetic instruments activated by the drip of liquids, aquasonic devices that seem on the verge of replying in a human language construed entirely from water. In another part of the work, voices can be made out in the crackling of an unfading globe of fire, like some promethean folly. Linguistics meets alchemy in this fantastical deconstruction of the ways we communicate.