Oracle (2012): installation and performance for voice, single screen HD video and sound. First exhibited and commissioned as part of Autumn Almanac: The Voice and the Lens, IKON Gallery Birmingham, 8 - 11 November 2012.
Oracle is a 12 minute ‘video song cycle’ for voice, single screen HD video and sound. Statements of the 19th century pioneering mathematician and computer scientist Ada Lovelace are revealed via the use of re-imagined visual and written archive material from which extracts are used as the libretto for close harmony vocal music. The use of ‘off-screen’ disembodied singing voices are designed to echo Lovelace’s own critical voice as observed in her translation notes of the ‘analytical engine’ (the first automatic computer) and in her letters to mathematician Charles Babbage. The objects in the video frame have the function of measuring distance and travelling through time so as to reach back to Lovelace's own visions of the future. She compares the engine to the loom that can weave patterns and prophesises that one day computers might compose their own elaborate and scientific music.
This work is part of The Difference Machine a series of video performances which use mediated sounds and images to reveal the roles and representations of women in the assimilation of technology into culture. Oracle was commissioned and first exhibited as part of Autumn Almanac: The Voice and the Lens at IKON Gallery in November 2012, curated by Sam Belinfante and Third Ear. It has been exhibited at EVA 2013 and will be presented at CAL Conference - An Interdisciplinary Conference Celebrating the Achievements and Legacies of Ada Lovelace, Hoboken New Jersey, USA in October 2013.
Link to Oracle on vimeo.