Skip to content

The Twins

The Twins

A sound sculpture by David Worrall (1999). 

Photographs by Dean Golja.

Read Beth Jackson's essay The Twins: A Pure Plane of Immanence PDF.

A pair of semi-naked plastic dolls are playing Scrabble on their day off. Embedded in their facial orifices are small loudspeakers, through which they communicate, both with each other and to their exhibition audience. They talk in an almost familiar language. Delighting in a communication characterised by qualities of flexibility, restlessness and responsiveness to the environment, they are articulate, displaying the quick wit of repartee, the to-and-fro of gossip and news. Very highly strung, they change moods with startling suddenness from sweet calm to brooding thunder. Their impulse is to awaken and ripple consciousness, to communicate.

Plastic dolls, card table, chairs & assorted components, Macintosh computer, computer sound-system and custom software by the artist.

Resources needed to display The Twins:

  • A quite quiet space
  • Access to AC power
  • Floor plynths (floor area of 3m x 2m)
  • Macintosh PPC with OS8.05 or later

The sound component of The Twins consists of vocal sounds composed and synthesised in real-time using a software speech synthesiser, controlled by software written by the artist.

When I look at a starry sky, I love it in a certain way because I know it in a certain way; ... Consequently, I can handle the concepts of things themselves without being in direct possession of them, under the condition that I may conceive of them and feel them from within in some way.... [E]ven if I am incapable of dominating a certain phenomenon, I am capable of obtaining a truth which is inherent to the conceived or observed phenomenon, thanks to a kind of immediate revelation. Henceforth, I can accept and use this, in and as itself. Iannis Xenakis.

When an artist is not concerned with self-expression, "outside" attention (outent) becomes a means of dislocating Self from intent, thus "setting the soul in operation". John Cage.

When algorithms are employed as formal compositional devices they provide mechanisms for revealing an inner nature: of sound, of material, of process, of our perceptions, of our systems of symbols and metaphors. By placing an emphasis on active listening rather than the sending and receiving of messages, an artist can be freed from the bounds of mere self-expression and the work can become revelatory.

These ideas were first explored in an Artist Talk given at the First Iterate conference, Monash University, Melbourne, December 3-5 1999, and more fully developed in Composition as Revelation, a paper delivered at the Australasian Computer Music Conference, University of Technology, Brisbane in July 4-8 2000.