Lawrence Abu Hamdan is a London-based artist. His ongoing project Aural Contract has been recently exhibited at Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm (2012) and the Taipei Biennial (2012). Other works include Model Court at Chisenhale Gallery, London (2011) and Marches for Artangel, London (2008), as well as two solo exhibitions featuring new commissioned work (2012): The Freedom Of Speech Itself, The Showroom, London; and The Whole Truth, CASCO, Utrecht. Abu Hamdan has written for Cabinet Magazine and the 10th Sharjah Biennial, and is part of the group running the arts space Batroun Projects in north Lebanon. Abu Hamdan is a PhD candidate and tutor at the department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London.

SpeakWriteRadio - Lawrence Abu Hamdan | Open studio, readings and publication launch

In Orwell’s 1984, writing is banned, pen and paper are hard to come by and in their place exists the SpeakWrite, a dictation machine, that forces every word you write to be made audible and hence to be made public. Orwell’s totalitarian apparatus has its enduring relevance in today’s capitalist societies where our increasing dependence on contemporary technology such as mobile phones, speech to text software, voice recognition security, Skype™, etc. exposes our voices and thoughts throughout the public sphere. In response to the changing conditions of the way we speak and write, and the dispersed space in which we now frequently speak aloud, we will dedicate our airwaves to broadcasting banned material, smuggled literature and taboo tales. Our online radio is combined with that of voice-recognition dictation software to create our own expanded SpeakWrite, and insert our broadcast into the private space between pen and paper. Through a phone-in system you will be able to contribute to our collection of contraband voices. The dictation machine we create in Beirut will both broadcast and collate our outlawed words producing with them a new publication. This instantly-produced publication will allow the SpeakWrite to perform itself, exposing simultaneously our words and the way these contemporary speech technologies distort, consume and desire our voices.