Friday, February 26, 2010

Talking Head

Spent two hours in a tiny, stuffy, not entirely sound-proofed recording studio last night. Swiss artists Daniel Glaser and Magdalena Kunz sculpt head busts and animate them with facial expression and voice. I am to be one of their 21 Talking Heads in a new installation work which will be shown in June at a gallery in Turin, Italy. They are also looking to exhibit in New York.

The Heads will be divided into three groups of seven each, and I belong to the "Poets" group. Two of my ghazals bookend this group's script. In between, we sound out on environmental destruction, artificial foods, ennui, new methods of reproduction, death, and other exit strategies. First time I read from a tele-prompter. My most memorable line (besides my own poems) was "Marine marsh islands" read slowly as if it were a news headline. I also got to swear in Hokkien.

After two complete takes, the artists made me repeat some lines several times. Their desire to get it right was admirable.


Patricia Markert said...


Will you go to Turino to see this? It sounds fascinating.


Jee Leong Koh said...

Not Turino unless someone sends me an air ticket. But the artists will be presenting two of their Talking Heads at the Scope Art Show opening soon near the Lincoln Center.

Patricia Markert said...

Let us know when it is. I would love to go see and hear -- though it must seem as if you are disembodied in that head...