Mouthpiece stands for several multi-authored word compositions, generated through free association games, held at different locations since 2010.
This way of generating a location-specific narrative was first developed for Powerhouse at Cambridge University Library in 2008, and then adapted for Collective, commissioned by Wysing Corporate Collective in 2013. During these two projects, word association was constrained by a set of parameters and performed over several weeks by library users and office workers respectively, to compose a valid multi-authored word composition and a full record of all submissions.
Short free-style versions of Mouthpiece were performed in 2010 at Wysing Arts Contemporary Presents, and as part of Pulse10 Fringe Festival at The Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich. Art audiences at these events were invited to respond to the current word directly via a laptop, to create a real-time ‘call and answer’, streamed on LED signs at the venue.
Mouthpiece was installed in the window of the Fishmarket Gallery, Northampton, as part of the group show The Tyranny of Grammar, curated by Catherine Hemelryk in 2011. This time word submissions could be entered via mobile phone by anyone spotting the text display in the gallery or from the street during a six week period. The new word was automatically selected at set intervals of time, as the free association most frequently submitted.