Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chinese Whispers.

Chinese Whispers. Contributions by Neil Chapman, Jill Magi, Sissu Tarka, Uriel Orlow, Brendan Fernandes and Jaanika Peerna. In Edit Mode Press, 2011.

Book description:

"(broken) telephone, grapevine, whisper down the lane, gossip, secret message, le téléphone arabe, stille post, gioco del telefono, telefono senza fili, telefone sem fio, głuchy telefon, pass the message, viskleken / The word was entirely nonsensical, composed from fragments of words extracted from the damaged label of a beer bottle, whispered and recorded as a digital file, run through a distorting filter, and passed on to our first contributor. / The sinophobic [British] name points to the centuries-old tradition in Europe of representing spoken Chinese as an incomprehensible and unpronounceable combination of sounds. / Here’s how it’s done: A first participant whispers a phrase or sentence to a subsequent participant. Each participant then proceeds to successively whisper what he or she believes him- or herself to have heard to the next participant. At the end of each round of the game, the last participant announces the statement to the entire group. / The sound recording was passed on to our initial contributor, who was asked to work with the recording – the sound itself as well as its transcription – to produce a sound- and text based contribution to the volume and, additionally, to solicit a subsequent participant to the series, make another sound recording of the whispered word, and pass this on to the chosen participant. / Errors often accumulate in the process, so that the statement announced by the last participant differs significantly from the one originally whispered by the first participant. / The resulting volume contains six separate contributions interlinked by the gradual mutation and disintegration of the original word recorded. / Contributors to the Chinese Whispers volume include Neil Chapman, Jill Magi, Sissu Tarka, Uriel Orlow, Brendan Fernandes and Jaanika Peerna. / There is no winner to the game. Amusement is derived by the comparison of the original and the final messages."

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