Alongside his collection of found objects (his Found Fount project is included in the exhibition), Paul Elliman’s work engages the human voice in many of its social and technological guises and imitates other languages and sounds of the city. He is interested in the ways that the voice can serve as both a marker and producer of space, directly affecting how we perceive it. Elliman made this sound work in collaboration with a group of MoMA staff members especially for this exhibition. Every 15 minutes a voice can be heard reciting the names of a series of fantastic locations culled from history, literature, and popular song, conjuring these nonexistent places aurally, via public announcement. Members of MoMA’s Security and Visitor Services departments read the lists; their “official” voices help to affirm the existence of the imaginary places.
The following MoMA staff members lent their voices to the project: Fimbar Byam, Levar Dawkins, Lucas Gonzalez, Melanie Monios, Joel Nuñez, Shareema Ortega, Linda Philip, Louis Russo, and Adeson Scott.
Paul Elliman (British, b. 1961). A List of Imaginary Places and a Voice to Call Them Out. 2012. Single-channel sound installation. Courtesy the artist