Emma Smith

Emma SmithVisual and sound artist Emma Smith hosted Lyric Cacophony at The White House. This is a collaborative project with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people across social care in Barking and Dagenham.

Visual and sound artist Emma Smith hosts Lyric Cacophony, a collaborative project with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people across social care in Barking and Dagenham.

Through a series of regular sessions the group explored the extraordinary ways in which we can connect to one another using our voices beyond language, examining the ways in which the voice can impact our emotions, and evoke feelings in ourselves and others.

Together, the group experimented with audio and digital technologies, exploring the musicality of speech, politics of voice and the physical nature of sound. Learning how sound travels through the body, what we can and can’t hear, and how this affects our physical and emotional response.

The collaboration culminated in a co-produced soundwork using haptic technologies, developing a new artwork that can be experienced through hearing and touch. The work will be presented as part of the Becontree estate’s centenary programme in 2021.

 Emma Smith is a visual artist based in the UK and works internationally. She has a social practice and creates platforms for people to share research, experiences, knowledge and no-how of human relationships to one another and the places we co-habit. 

Through performances, installations, objects and actions, Smith’s work reveals the subtleties of human connectivity: relationship, communication, sense of place and entanglement. Her work looks in particular at hidden forms of connection: the tacit / the intimate / the transient / the subconscious / the remote / and the invisible. She is currently developing new work looking at extended cognition and consciousness, touch beyond the ends of the body and the body as earth.

Smith’s process is research and production-based and often involves the bringing together of multi-disciplinary teams including collaborations with academics, professionals and hobbyists and drawing on the fields of anthropology, history, psychology, neurology, physics, ecology and biology. Through this co-research process her work results in published findings as well as new artwork, unearthing forgotten histories and proposing new futures. 

Previous exhibitions and performances include Tate Modern, Barbican, Whitechapel, Bluecoat, Whitworth, ICA and Arnolfini with international projects across the globe.

Emma Smith: Lyric Cacophony is commissioned by The White House as part of New Town Culture