A geo-located audio walk and book as an evocation of the anthropocene
‘the most effective new media work shown at Screen City Biennial…As I listened to accounts from the inhabitants of depopulated Latvian towns and of cities with rapidly encroaching coastlines, the voice-over constantly encouraged me to be mindful of where I was, to view my experiences, thoughts and feelings alongside those of others. Isn’t that what empathy is all about?’ – FRIEZE
It Must Have Been Dark By Then is a book and audio experience that uses a mixture of evocative music, narration and field recording to bring you stories of changing environments, from the swamplands of Louisiana, to empty Latvian villages and the edge of the Tunisian Sahara. Unlike many audio guides, there is no preset route, the software builds a unique map for each person’s experience. It is up to you to choose your own path through the city, connecting the remote to the immediate, the precious to the disappearing.
‘It was however more than that because even though there was no screen to be looked at constantly or augmented reality even, the combination of sound, script and walk opened up a new, a conscious way of seeing.’ – NORA MANTHEY
‘I’ve never experienced anything like it’– THOMAS MCMULLAN
In January and February 2017 Duncan Speakman travelled with collaborators across three countries on three continents, visiting environments that are experiencing rapid change from human and environmental factors. What he created on his return is somewhere between a travel journal and a poetic reflection on connection, progress and memory. The experience asks the listener to seek out types of locations in their own environment, and once there it offers sounds and stories from remote but related situations. At each location the listener/reader is invited to tie those memories to the place they are in, creating a map of both where they are right now and of places that may not exist in the future.
Concept development and dramaturgy
Tineke De Meyer
Sarah Anderson, Duncan Speakman, Sean McGhee ?and Djamila Skoglund-Voss
Location research and production
Katharina Smets, Sara Zaltash and Elina Ventere
Taylor Brothers Bristol