Hartlepool Future Calling (in progress)
I am currently gathering voices and words for a new audiovisual project to be exhibited in Hartlepool, UK, and various galleries around the UK and online.
What I am asking the residents of Hartlepool to tell me is,
What do you think Hartlepool will be like in 5 years' time?
Leave a message at 07552 056274, comment through this website, or email me at email@example.com. You can say one word or a hundred, you can write in poetry or prose, you can even send a painting or do a dance.
Voice messages are 100% anonymous. Your number will not be recorded. You cannot be contacted or traced. Visual images will have faces blurred if requested.
Use whatever language you like. Be proud. Be angry. Be frustrated. Be pessimistic. Be hopeful. Be frightened. But most of all, be honest.
Your submission implies consent to use your contribution in a new art piece that will be exhibited publicly. You will not be identified by name unless you expressly tell me to. This is a non-profit artwork: your participation is entirely voluntary, and nobody is going to be making any money from this... but it'll be very exciting!
The last century has shown time and time again that in a period of economic crisis, it is the North East that suffers most, and recovers slowest. With over a decade of depression, recession, austerity, and now Covid-19, Hartlepool's future looks more uncertain than ever... but we also have the prospect of a Teesside Free Port, and the return of the Tall Ships in 2023 is a positive step in the right direction.
The council, the government, and leaders of local industry all have designs on Hartlepool's future, but even with consultations and surveys the actual voices and words of ordinary Hartlepudlians so often get lost.
Hartlepool Future Calling is a short piece constructed of voice recordings of ordinary Hartlepudlans talking about what they believe the town will look like in 5 years' time, with a soundscape drawn from the town's unique urban, rural and coastal setting. The voices are gathered by people calling 07552 056274 and leaving a message, emailing me, or leaving text comments, poems, even drawings. I anticipate a mix of optimism and pessimism, pride and frustration.
I am not interested in making a poverty porn piece, nor in painting Hartlepudlians as romantic Noble Victims. Similarly, this will not be a rose-tinted promo-video. It will be a unique artistic record of the less-heard voices of Hartlepool.
The telephone number above is linked to an anonymous voicemail box that only I have access to. I cannot trace your number, and I cannot call you back. Leave a message with your thoughts on Hartlepool's future, whatever they may be. By leaving a message in any form, you are consenting for your voice/words to be used in the piece, which will be presented to galleries across the UK, and on my own website.
I look forward to hearing your calls to the future.