microphone, mirror ball engine, speaker, table, text excerpt of William B. Seabrooks book Withcraft
The sound-installation “Wow“ explores a text by William B. Seabrooks entitled “Wow!”. A reflection on what might happen if human language were abolished. Via a slowly rotating microphone parts of the text become temporary audible.
Seabrooks short story is based on an experiment with Aleister Crowley. In 1920, after a conversation about Trappist monks and their vows of silence, they both agreed to suspend normal verbal communication and limit themselves to the prearranged monosyllable “wow“ for a week. Based on this experience, Seabrook wrote the short story, “Wow!“, set in ancient China, in which people discover peace and contentment through replacing human language with the word “wow“; eventually, a second faction emerges, those who spread dissent by using “wo“. In consequence, two great armies fight to the death over “wow“ and “wo“, leaving nothing but “a few empty bubbles floating on a river of blood.“
Voice: Sam Bunn