Buckingham’s exhibition Half Remembered brings together four disparate projects to examine questions of time and language.
The silent black-and-white video projection Within the Sound of Your Voice shows dozens of semi-anonymous individuals as they handwrite the title phrase of the work. The video is a reflection upon verbal, written, and gestural communication. Being within the sound of another’s voice means that one is literally and metaphorically in proximity to the speaker. Writing, disseminated in letters or publications, extends this circle of comprehension across space and time. Written words carry traces of sound that become evident as we read them, even silently, to ourselves. In this way, readers often find themselves within the sound of voices that fell silent long ago. Though viewers of Within the Sound of Your Voice cannot read or hear what is written, they witness a subverted typology: here the gesture of writing contains and releases the structural features of language.
Infinite Tuning, a four-channel audio loop recording, presents the sounds of an orchestra warming up and tuning. The normal protocol for tuning each section of the orchestra here is extended and repeated, heightening the feeling of anticipation that these sounds often generate. This repeated deferral of performance raises the question of what music one expects to hear and which associations follow for the anticipated score, be it romantic expression, political narrative, or avant-garde individualism.
Buckingham’s Time Capsule (For 28 June 2017) and Time Capsule (for 11 August 3007) explore the paradigms of this target-dated, hide-and-seek archival method. Unlike conventional time capsules, Buckingham’s versions do not commemorate a particular site or event, nor are the contents disclosed prior to encapsulation. Rather than carrying a firm deadline for opening, the container is inscribed with a date after which it may be opened. The meaning of this project emerges in a threefold, time-sensitive process: we interpret the capsule first in its closed state; next in light of the projected opening date; and finally in terms of the possible revelation of its contents. These repositories scrutinize the premium we place on notions of change, calling into question our expectations for the future and its links to the present.
Public Address is an ongoing work that Buckingham coordinates upon arriving in a host city for a residency or exhibition. During his stay, Buckingham invites a member of the community to select a piece of writing and to read it aloud in a public place. When selecting a text he asks the reader to consider the general and personal implications of this action, taking into account the reading’s location. Public Address (San Antonio) occurred on Wednesday, October 31, at the Tower of the Americas. Nan Cuba, Professor of English at Our Lady of the Lake University, read an excerpt from her novel Body and Bread. The reading was amplified over the PA system at the Tower, projecting her voice throughout the building and onto the outdoor observation deck. Buckingham’s ongoing project encourages community participation while using the “accidental audiences” it creates to consider how public space is utilized and what its potential may be.
Time can be defined, in part, as a psychological construction- a cognitive tool individuals use to tune themselves to the world and to each other. In the exhibition Half Remembered, Buckingham examines various modes of communication, investigating how these practices enable social tuning and synchronization.