The Stranger

The Stranger

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Overview | Details | Exhibitions | Artist Statement


The Stranger is a 20:00 radio art narrative of multiple voices in overheard conversations. We will never know the richness of these narratives unless we listen to the stranger next to us.


Artist Statement
Object: audio file
Format: mp3
Bit Rate: 356kbs
Duration: 20:00 (versions with different lengths)
Created: 2014
Creator: John F. Barber

Exhibitions / Publications / Broadcasts

ACC logo Autonomous Cultural and Social Center
(invited exhibition. 10:00)
Skopje, Macedonia
13 February 2015
Curated by Toni Dimitrov. 10:00 version. Project description on Facebook events page. Learn more at the Autonomous Cultural Center Facebook page.

Errant Bodies / sound art space
(Invited exhibition. 10:00)
Berlin, Germany
14 June 2014
Curated by international sound artist Brandon LaBelle. 10:00 version. Learn more at the Errant Bodies blog

Echoes Echoes #4: The stranger that is next to me
(Juried broadcast, 20:00)
Lisbon, Portugal
7-8 March 2014
Curated by international sound artist Brandon LaBelle. Submissions were encouraged to explore "the stranger that is next to me."

Echoes was a transdisciplinary art project in Lisbon, Portugal, July 2013-March 2014. Coordinated by the art collective Osso for the city of Lisbon, with a focus on thoughts, experiences, and interventions regarding listening and place, Echoes aimed "to put together thoughts, experiences and interventions on the relationship between LISTENING and PLACE." Echoes was presented over four weekends every two months July 2013-March 2014 and featured debates, concerts, workshops, soundwalks, film screenings, and radio broadcasts via Stress.FM. The common theme was how soundscape and aurality contribute to a sense of place. Four of my works of radio art were jury selected for Echoes broadcasts. Echoes #4: The Stranger That Is Next To Me. Echoes #3: Internet Soundscape. Echoes #2: Paging Greg Lambert. Echoes #1: Ambient Pulsations, Between Sleep and Dreams, and Contact.

Artist Statement

The Stranger begins with the opening musical score to the 1946 film noir The Stranger starring and directed by Orson Welles. Samples of contemporary BBC interviews with Bobby Womack, Werner Herzog, Benedict Cumberbatch, James Earl Jones, Ringo Starr, Mitch Benn, Tracey Emin, Suzanne Moore, Roger Waters, and others follows. Counterpoint to these conversations are samples of Albert Camus reading from his novel L'etranger (The Stranger) for French radio in 1954, just three years before he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Camus published his novel in 1946, when he was twenty-two years old. Also sampled is Jonathan Davis reading from an English translation audiobook of Camus' novel. This overlay of multiple voices might seem absurd, but nearby strangers are rich in their own narrative worlds of thoughts and experiences, all unknown unless we listen to them speaking.