Tasked to Hear is a new work by Mark Peter Wright, building on several years’ embodied research and enquiry into the nature of listening, beginning with A Quiet Reverie (2008) and including Exchanges (2011) and 30-minutes of Listening (2012).
It is the document of a year-long engagement with a particular landscape and comprises a large format booklet of texts and images, accompanied by a site-specific sound recording. Taken together, these disparate elements address the inherent failings of our attitudes towards our surroundings – a situation that Wright describes as ‘being in and out of place’.
Tasked to Hear questions what it means to give attention, the processes we use to record our interactions with place, and how we communicate those experiences with others. Wright is unafraid to place himself at the problematic crux of the equation, and Tasked to Hear is therefore a deeply personal and self-critical work, exploring the mediating effect of the artist’s own physical limitations and thought processes. It also encompasses the fallibility of technology, and, through its appropriation of statistical analysis, presents an uneasy commingling of both empirical and phenomenological modes of representation.
The work itself is presented unencumbered by any attempt to define its objectives or achievements – Wright presents his ‘data’ as a series of encounters, much the same as they occurred. He does not attempt to identify what he heard, and therefore the experience we have of visiting this work is analogous with that of the artist himself, within his chosen landscape – disorienting, challenging, moving, questioning.
Tasked to Hear is powerful precisely because of its incompleteness; its acceptance and highlighting of failure; its courage in drawing attention to the limits of perception, and the awkwardness of feeling.
Mark Peter Wright is an artist based in London, UK. His work explores issues of agency and mediation between humans, animals, landscapes and technology. He works over various mediums and has exhibited across a range of contexts and platforms. He is also the founder and editor of Ear Room, an online publication exploring the use of sound in artistic practice. With Salomé Voegelin he co-curates Points of Listening, a monthly series of events, activities and workshops. He is represented by IMT Gallery.
Tasked to Hear is available to buy from Corbel Stone Press.