Duncan Speakman

United Kingdom

Duncan Speakman (UK 1976) was originally trained as a sound engineer at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. From initially developing interactive documentary projects and installations, since 2005 he has focused on mobile audio and locative media in works where the line between audience and performer becomes continually questioned. He creates socially relevant experiences that engage audiences emotionally and physically in uncontrolled spaces, in mass participation performances and intimate in-ear stories, books, installations and workshops. Recent exhibitions include Times Museum (Guangzhou), Saitama Triennial (Tokyo), Microwave (Hong Kong), IDFA (Amsterdam), Mayfest (Bristol), Z33 (Hasselt) TPAM (Tokyo), Kontraste (Krems), SonicActs (Amsterdam), Playpublik (Berlin), MOCA (Taipei), Vooruit (Gent), MediaCity (Seoul) and ArteMov (Sao Paulo), Barbican (London), FutureEverything (Manchester), Edinburgh Film Festival, and Soho Theatre (London).


It Must Have Been Dark by Then

Audio Walk
Commissioned by the Ambient Literature Research Project

The Audio Walk is presented as a mobile app in combination with a printed book. Readers are invited to take a journey through their local environment, seeking out physical locations of specific experiences, materials and textures. At each of these locations audiences are presented with sound and stories from remote places that are in process of change. While collecting these in January and February 2017, Speakman traveled across the swamps of Louisiana, the edge of the Tunisian Sahara and through empty Latvian villages, collecting sounds and stories from disappearing places – all places that are rapidly changing. The Audio Walk makes connections between these distant stories and locations in the readers immediate physical environment. This method of loci preserves the testimonies of how places were, while simultaneously inviting you to reflect on the transience of your own surroundings.