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One Hundred Voices, One Collective Story (2018)
New York, NY
Featured as part of Wang Xin’s “The Gallery”
The Armory Show, Pier 94
New York City
March 8th, 2018
One Hundred Voices, One Collective Story (2017)
In the fall of 2017, Harbor Voices created its first community collaborative public art installation in the fishing community of Gloucester, Massachusetts. This community has centuries of rich immigration history from across the globe.
We held storytelling sessions at senior centers, the offices of public officials, public schools, nonprofit support groups, and historical societies to collect over 100 ancestral and recent local immigration stories.
The audio from the storytelling sessions was recorded and the stories were then condensed into an 8-minute sound collage, featuring a “babble” of languages overlapping into the sound of crashing waves. Short quotations from our diverse collection of stories emerged from the waves as the laser installation commenced. The sound installation immersed exhibition visitors in immigration stories, while the lasers visualized the web of connectivity between stories. In the exhibition, an ancestral immigration story would be heard in conjunction with a recent story and, eventually, the visitor could no longer discern which stories were recent and which stories were from the past. Lights from opposite corners of the room would connect and travel through space and time together, exemplifying the similitudes that exist amongst neighbors and community members.
"When my ELL students, who just arrived to this country, see their stories
shared in the context of other stories about immigration and local history,
I think they feel part of a larger community and more welcome here."
—A GLOUCESTER PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER, December 2017