Brandon LaBelle








Rehearsal for a People's Microphone

The voice speaks of social unrest. It questions the mode of political address. It hesitates, then finds momentum; it speaks to the crowd, and the crowd repeats, throwing the voice toward the horizon of a potential future, that of an imaginary republic.

The work explores notions and possibilities of civic culture, considering "the crowd" in particular as a primary expression of public life. What forms may civic life take in today's political environment? How to rejuvenate the often-eclipsed field of public culture, one that might renew a sense for common life? These questions are put into play through the work by appropriating the device of a "people's microphone" to stage a form of public speech and public encounter.

Consisting of a pick up truck, a sound system mounted in the back, and a set of fold-out tables and chairs, the work circulates through the city of Sherbrooke for a two-week period, parking at specific locations to playback an audio work. The audio features a voice that speaks and a group that repeats each line, projecting their voices toward an imaginary crowd.

Presented as part of Espace Im Média, Sherbrooke - Québec
August 2013

video document

script pdf