Aquaphoneia

Investigating sonic technologies and the transmutation of voice into matter, Navid Navab & Michael Montanaro’s Aquaphoneia is an odd alchemical assemblage capable of liquifying sounds. Thermodynamically processing people’s voice offerings, 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 aqueous voice alchemically transformed by a series of obscure glass instruments into a burbling, underwater tongue. These sounds are fed through strange 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, extracting ‘phonetic vapour’, ‘spectral mist’ and alchemico-sonic gold. Linguistics meets alchemy in this fantastical liquification of the ways we communicate.