Novelette, audio drama, furniture and ceramics presented as part of Platform: 2019 at the Edinburgh Art Festival.
Chairs now permanently on display at WHALE Arts, Edinburgh.
Publication available to buy here.
Driven by a post-colonial perspective on science fiction, Voun Town considers the social consequences of collectivism, as well as the potential it creates for a more symbiotic relationship with the environment. At the core of the project is a short story about a secret landfill settlement inhabited by non-human persons known as the Vouns. This self-styled quasi 19th C. novelette restages critical ecological questions as relationships between human and non-human subjects. In the exhibition space, the writing expands to include an audio presentation and a performative set of custom-made furniture that viewers can engage with.
Both a consequence and an expression of resistance to market capitalism, the Vouns employ a strict division of labour and are awake only when performing their tasks, existing on the cusp of verbs and nouns. The radically different social structure of Voun Town prompts all sorts of consequences for the human narrator, a figure not unlike the naïve and pseudo-heroic wanderers of early science fiction and travel literature. Just like Gulliver himself, the narrator wrestles with an unfamiliar system of values, thus serving as a plot device to explore the possibility of learning from non-human beings.