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Wes Kline:
Voice Remainders

August 20 - October 4, 2014

kline image

Worldizing, 2014, archival pigment print

Images today have become not only carriers for speech but also substitutes and placeholders for that speech. As I, along with most of the world, watched images and texts stream out of Tahrir Square, it became clear that I wasn’t simply receiving a mediated version of an event, but each image and Tweet became a world, a bubble, a shared consciousness, a choral voice or a breath. It signified the “being there” of the image-maker, but it also converted that image into a complex set of technological and social relations that suggested new forms of speech.

Our experience of images has changed dramatically as technology has shifted both the location and the production of the image. One encounters images on a search engine not as grounded documentary sites, but rather as a kind of floating world leading from one point to another. Images on smartphones create bubbles of presence that drift from one device to another. “Selfies” stand in for us in other locations. Utilizing this understanding of image, my work examines and looks to create what the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk calls “inspired spatial communities” that are united, however fleetingly, by purposeful engagement with vectors of language, sound and image.

Through intervention and collaboration, the loosely related works in Voice Remainders use sound, video and photography to address the image of the voice, even as digital technologies have transformed speech and its corresponding presence into a kind of participatory algorithm. A sound installation produced in collaboration with the poet Kirsten Kaschock choreographs the performance of text-based binaries as they expand into a spatial event-community. Photographs curated from the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery’s permanent collection create an intervention into the archive itself, allowing the archive to speak, as the images double, recombine, and are shifted by a parallel textual narrative. An artist’s book reconstitutes a series of spam-bot emails as an epic poem. Throughout, I investigate the “remainders” of these image-voices, folding and complicating the speech-act and its image of individual and collective agency.

-Wes Kline

The exhibition is supported by a faculty research grant from St. Lawrence University.

kline image - myna

Photoform #4 (Two-Headed Myna,
Ebay Item #260949814071), 2013
Archival pigment print