Mad rapture for molluscs *

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I have spent a couple of days at the third Species of Origin workshop. Much of the workshop focused in on language and the voice, with particularly fascinating presentations by scientist Tecumseh Fitch on the evolution of the voice, author William Fiennes speaking about the writing of his book The Snow Goose, and artist Marcus Coates who spoke about two of his works: his re-construction of birds’ song using human voices, Dawn Chorus, and Radio Shaman, in which Coates roams around the town of Stavanger in Norway, communicating with animal spirits in an attempt to address issues around prostitution in the town. Whilst Marcus’ work comes across as very accessible, largely because of the humour and wit in the works, there’s an obsessive quality and strangeness about them that I find mesmerizing.

* From ‘Pig’, a poem by Jo Shapcott

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