Claire Tolan

SHUSH-to-come: SHUSH Choir

SHUSH-to-come: SHUSH choir Workshop, Claire Tolan

Claire Tolan’s work explores information and systems theory; role-playing and fantasy world-building; and intimate relations with machines, strangers, computations, and common objects. For 3hd Festival, she will present a workshop, performance, and talk called ‘SHUSH-to-come: SHUSH Choir’ revolving around ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) and a communal, mathematically-fascinating bell-ringing custom called change-ringing.

ASMR is a physiological phenomenon, a neologism coined in an Internet chat forum that describes a ‘tingling’ sensation in the scalp and spine triggered by specific acoustic and visual stimuli. An enormous online community has grown around ASMR, posting more than two million videos on YouTube over the past several years. Change-ringing, is the co-ordinated performance of a full-circle of church bell ringers originating in England in the 17th century. Although vastly different in time and place of origin, both practices find their roots in steady repetition, folk traditions, and do-it-yourself culture.

Ten people will take part in the two-hour workshop with the objective of creating a ‘SHUSH Choir, to be performed later that night at Vierte Welt. Half of the participants will learn a simple five-bell change-ringing method on hand chimes. The other half will follow the same pattern with a whispered lyrics, scripted by Tolan in the tradition of Filk - a musical fandom that writes and performs songs about science fiction literature, films, and television. The entire project is treated by Tolan as a type of role-play, where the artist constructs her own science-fiction universe that participants then enter and inhabit. The universe of the SHUSH Choir also underlies Tolan’s forthcoming tabletop fantasy role-playing game, Die Siedler von SHUSH (dSvS).

The SHUSH Choir was developed in partnership with the Palais des Beaux
Arts, Wien. The first iteration of the SHUSH Choir will occur at the
2016 Unsafe+Sounds Festival.

SHUSH-to-come: SHUSH choir, Claire Tolan
Thursday, October 13th, 7-10pm
Vierte Welt

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