16 Oct 2013

This content is tagged as Visual arts .


The Human Instrument Archive

Christchurch residents who can make a unique sound with their bodies are invited to become part of a work of art this weekend.

Bodytok Quintet: The Human Instrument Archive is an installation that alludes to an universal, non-verbal body music. To date, recordings have been made throughout New Zealand of the non-verbal, often primal sounds that we can make with our bodies.

Artist Phil Dadson and interactive software designer James Charlton, aka sonicfromscratch, have installed five large screens at ArtBox which present the existing video imagery on screens ticking over at one frame per second, presenting the performers like framed portraits. 

When viewers approach, the ‘bodytok’ begins – a performance delivered direct to each viewer. When all five screens are operating, a quintet is created.

Phil Dadson says "There's a pre-lingual animal rawness about these sounds, suggestive of encounters with the primacy of nature; sounds non-verbally voiced, often in private, absent-mindedly, often unwittingly, invariably shared with family or close friends; sounds to make a point or raise a laugh, to fill a gap of while away the time, to be as free as a child, and in that world to simply be oneself, lip plopping, tongue clocking, whistle warbling, finger crackling, hip clicking, skin slapping, throat gurgling, belly drumming..."  

Phil will be recording the performances of Christchurch volunteers this weekend to add to The Human Instrument Archive. Those who would like to make a submission for inclusion should email bodytok@scapepublicart.org.nz.

Presented in partnership with Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu
Platinum: Christchurch City Council, Creative New Zealand
Silver: The Press
Bronze: CoverStaff, ArtBox, CPIT

For more information visit:

Photo: Phil Dadson, (aka sonicsfromscratch) Bodytok Quintet: The Human Instrument Archive, (2013). Photo: Bridgit Anderson, courtesy of SCAPE Public Art.