Over four weeks in summer of 2018, artist Emma Frankland invited twenty-five members of Brighton’s trans (including non binary) community to archive their thoughts and feelings using VoiceOver radio boxes.
Commissioned by Brighton Digital Festival, we were invited to work with over four weeks in summer of 2018 with local artist Emma Frankland. She invited twenty-five members of Brighton’s trans (including non binary) community to archive their thoughts and feelings using VoiceOver radio boxes.
Each week Emma would sent some provocations or questions – Who are you? What is community? What would you say to your younger self? And once a week they would listen to a specially recorded broadcast, made by a trans artist. These broadcasts themselves served as prompts on the themes of pride, love and existing outside our front door; on trans history; on the nature of community and on what it is to be a young trans person.
VoiceOver Brighton demonstrated one of Brighton Digital Festival’s core beliefs, which is that technology can, in the right hands, provide spaces for marginalised and precarious communities to make their voices heard.
— Laurence Hill, Director, Brighton Digital Festival
The participants were asked to share words and music that they would like to be heard by other trans identified people and also to share words for the world to hear. Whenever anyone at home recorded something on their radio box, a banner embedded with LED lights located outside the Marlborough Pub & Theatre responded in real-time by displaying their chosen colour. As participation grew, the banner filled with coloured lights – symbolising all their growing contributions. Each colour in the banner represents a specific participant. Over four weeks, 374 pieces of audio content were generated.
The content was featured in a solo exhibition at Brighton Pop Up Gallery from 28th September to 13th October. Two audio pieces were created from the recordings by Emma and her collaborator, Juan Carlos Otero. One is an audio landscape which is for members of the public to hear. Another one for anyone who identify themselves as trans (including non binary).