Kate Brown is an interdisciplinary artist working specifically with the human voice. She is fascinated by how it sits in the body, how it is produced, and projected out to be placed elsewhere. Accordingly, she has been focusing on live event-based performances in installation, outdoor environments, and gallery contexts.
Kate Brown, Currents of Exchange, live, recorded vocal performance and installation, 2018, Kudos Gallery, Paddington
Video documentation by David Ma.
Currents of Exchange explores the relationship between objects, how they are observed, interpreted and interacted with during vocal performance. The representation of an object can be defined by a single reality, position and cultural perspective. Over the duration of theexhibition Kate will present 3 vocal performances where she will activate or shift some components in the space. Live experimental vocal performance, Object Oriented Ontology and Participation Mystique are key frameworks relevant to the research that has influenced this current body of work. The sound produced in the space will be absorbed or ricocheted via bodies and objects. Some sounds recorded, preformed, notated and/or improvised will determine the interaction across the space. As images develop during this interaction an audience can interpret the evolving framework and experience the volume, extension or brevity of a performing body. There are designated parameters within each performance alongside an unfolding of ephemeral, otherworldly and physical vocal elements that will continue to change the pace of the work as itdevelops.
Kate Brown A Conversation in Whispers, 2018 was presented at 'The Open Body' curated by Tom Isaacs at Scratch Artspace Marrickville.
Video documentation by Kath Fries.
Kate invited the audience to interact with her using military grade throat microphones placed around the neck of performer and participant. The amplified sounds were heard coming directly from the throat area. The performance took place in two parts, a demonstration performance using the throat microphones and then the invitation, set up and conversation in whispers to follow. This includes an audience member standing with the performer, asked about their direct experience and relationship to their voice. These whispers were amplified via the military grade throat microphones and a mixer/speaker set up, allowing the audience to hear this private/ internal conversation. 'A conversation in Whispers' sonically places the audience inside the body, exploring the internal cavities of the throat and larynx. This is an area of the body that is more commonly heard and not seen. By highlighting the peculiar aural moments of the vocal body the audience, participant and performer will be taken into closer proximity to their bodies and its functions. Often the articulations of language were lost but the audience is left with a clouded view from inside the peculiarities of the body.
Kate Brown, Alleyway, performed at Desire Lines 3.0, curated by Sebastian Henry-Jones and Mauve Parker, Ultimo, 2 minute excerpt from 15 minute performance, 2017 Performers: Kate Brown, Tom Hungerford, Simona Jovanovic and Luke McMaster Location: 18 William Henry St, Ultimo, NSW
Video Documentation by David Ma
For Desire Lines 3.0, Kate activated an ambiguous non-space with a mobile phone feedback orchestra titled Alleyway. Alleyway is a site specific performance work incorporating mobile phone feedback placed across bodies, voices and architectural spaces. Each performer held a mobile phone device, activating when it connected to another device, creating feedback via the in built speaker and microphone. The performers proceeded to ‘play’ the feedback by moving the phones at various distances/speeds from one another. As the speaker and microphone were active, the feedback carried across all four devices. Various physical experiments changed the dynamic, pitch and frequency of the feedback. Alongside the feedback loop performers intermittently chanted the word ‘Alleyway’ into the phone speaker. By chanting the word continuously it distorted, overlapped and eventually lost meaning as it was amplified across devises and whirred into the feedback loop. Initially the performing voice created a familiar, recognisable layer within the feedback. However, with the fatigue of repetition, this layer distorts and tangles itself into the soundscape. Alleyway is a conversation between bodies, architecture and technology to create a reactive sound space. Kate is interested in how the site for Alleyway carried and collected sound. It is a space that is disused and no longer plays a definite role in the urban landscape. By placing sound across this space in such a way activates the inside/outside of the body and the space it occupies. It is a way to audibly experience sound in new ways- across bodies and technology.
Kate Brown, A Speak back to the Echo, live vocal performance and sound installation, New Contemporaries, SCA, 2017
Video documentation by Paul Matereke
This piece references my MFA work A body of echoes, where I activated the space and its history through the idea of a space that has carried and collected sounds over time. This second iteration A Speak back to the Echo also has reference to Alvin Lucier's 'I am sitting in a room' where sounds in the space start to take their own form. Dissimilar to Lucier’s piece, I did not record my voice and play it back, I simply let the vocal sounds sit in the in between spaces of the echo to absorb and be placed elsewhere. After the performance I amplified the recorded event through the same PA my voice occupied during the performance. By layering the recorded sound the space inevitably adopted a whirring sense of imperfect placement of voices, as moving temporal bodies entered and exited the space.
Kate Brown, Skyscraper, vocal performance, Firstdraft Gallery, Sydney, 2015
Video documentation by Anya Mckee
Kate Brown, Tail Gater, National Experimental Arts Forum, Liquid Architecture at the Hellenic Club, Perth WA 2015
Kate Brown, Long Distance, live streamed sound performance from Cardiff UK displayed on monitor, 2016
How do you engage an audience through the intimate and sometimes distant interface of a computer screen? Global positioning systems, the Internet, common ground, interactivity, displacement, latitude and longitude coordinates, cultural exchange and the knowledge and the acceptance of that distance, means the intimate connections that we have with and through technology are in constant states of failure.
All the way in Cardiff, UK, Brown will assume a character that exists in a dimension running parallel to the festival timeline. The sound performance will play and experiment within the bounds of love and technology to highlight the transparencies of what it means to be face to face.
Expect to experience a fleeting long distance relationship during this performance. Even though you are perpetually connected you will never have this same moment again. This love affair will begin and end during Love/City III: The PLANETARY.
Copyright © 2017 Kate Brown. All rights reserved