August 2012

Anita Pomerantz and Sister Corita Kent in Conversation



I found this conversation in Pomerantz’ paper over a year ago, and began to examine the detail of the exchange: how the participants manage thier assessments of the print, and what kinds of conversational devices and mechanisms they use to do so.

I never really thought to find out what they were talking about until I started working on the Audio BNC (my post about that here) and kept hearing lots of mis-transcribed names of artists and musicians in people’s conversations.

I had started searching for Mary Kerrida (sic) and even thought it might be a mistranscription of ‘querida’, and they were looking at some kind of religious print or icon of the Virgin. It just never occured to me, reading their conversation, that they might be talking about a piece by Sister Corita Kent, the peacenick pop-art nun.

When I found this print ‘Life’, I was struck by how little relevance the image seemed to have to the conversation, and how few identifiable descriptions appeared in talk. The only reference that enabled me to identify it (or so I think) was the question from participant E, querying the spelling of the word ‘life’ – a conversational/perceptual repair of sorts.

In fact when analysing this conversation, Pat Healey and I had to accept that there was no real evidence that E’s question was even part of the overall conversation at all.

That’s still the case I guess, and I can’t prove that they’re talking about this image, but this process, of reading a decontextualised transcript of a critique first, then finding the artist, then finally the image being critiqued, has been a useful case in point for a conversational aesthetic approach.

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One Night Grandstand

Transforming a neighbourhood kick-about into an epic sporting event through the magic of sports commentary.

Commentary box
Phil Parry (BBC London Sport) and a young commentator in action.

The People Speak‘s first commission from Space Studios in 2005 involved training young football commentators and putting on a spectacular one night tournament on the neighbourhood kick-about. With live-action replays on big screens, live commentary from BBC London Sport’s Phil Parry and sound effects, the Ranwell Estate in Bow was transformed into a glamorous stadium for a night. The Crowd

One Night Grandstand has since been developed into a travelling stadium kit, which The People Speak offers as a service as a way of augmenting all kinds of local sporting events.

Links & Credits

  • Fiona Fieber and Tanya Skillen at Space Studios commissioned the first version, and the Chisenhale Gallery who provided space and helped with commentator training.
  • Phil Parry for helped the project and volunteered his time and support.
  • Sacha Edwards and the young people of the Ranwell Estate for playing and supporting their teams so enthusiastically.
  • Frankie Pagnacco (event management), Gio D’angelo (A/V setup and vision mixing), Hektor Kowalski and Jo Ruda (stills camera), Wojciech Kosma (replay/effects system). Gaianova team (event production), Diler Metin, Andy Pagnacco, Jonathan Swain (video camera)

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