Part live performance, part undercover surveillance operation, Earshot is driven by theatre-maker Kate Hunter’s lifetime obsession of eavesdropping on the private conversations of complete strangers.
In this critically acclaimed collaboration, overheard stories are combined with voice-activated text projection to offer a fly-on-the-wall insight into the lives of others – personal, epic, comic and sometimes devastating
At once a symphony of the authentic voice and a celebration of the Australian vernacular, Earshot is verbatim performance at its best: poetic, musical and hilarious. It is an ambitious work that questions the insidious nature of technology – and the ethical questions it raises – in a culture and a time in which we seemingly cannot live without it.
Working with electroacoustic musician Jem Savage and performer/composer Josephine Lange, Kate uses analog objects and digital technology, and teams eavesdropped stories with modern and antiquated devices (microphones, tin cans, garden hose, plastic funnels, electric knives and coffee grinders), to craft a brilliantly constructed meditation on the private lives of others.
These public airings have subtly but radically shifted our relationship to each other, and ourselves because our experiences and understandings of privacy, of discretion, and of confidentiality have changed. The more we manifest our private worlds in public spaces, the more the boundaries between personal and private shift. What are the implications for us as these edges blur? Who should be permitted to listen? Where is the line? Does real privacy exist?
Earshot asks the audience to question their involvement – are they passive witnesses to the spectacle or are they, too, violating others’ privacy as they watch the performance?
Earshot by Kate Hunter and collaborators as part of Due West Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre, 18-20 November 2019, 7pm.