Stem (Voice)

Interactive sound installation.

Resin, speakers, found circuits, electrical wire.
ABSA L’Atelier finalist

The audience is encouraged to interact with Stem by recording their own voices into one of the several ‘flowers’. The last recorded voice is played back repetitively until a new voice is recorded over the last.

The project Stem is based on the organic form of a vine creeping up a wall. The vine stem is replaced with electronic wiring and the flowers by speaker/recorder devices. These devices are embedded into and behind clear resin capsules which are cast from indigenous succulents from South Africa. Stem creates a space of white noise, wherein multicultural and intertextual communications become lost in an endless rambling of unknown voices failing to maintain a dialogue. 

Stem looks into the nature of dialogue and the changes technology has pronounced upon it. It explores the depth of communication and the potential deterioration of understanding between people over communication techologies. The title of the artwork is a play on the English translation of the Afrikaans word 'stem' which means 'voice' and the English reference to an organic 'stem' of a plant. 

- Finalist at the Absa Atilier Art Awards 2010.