Studio Fontana

Listening as Channeling (2021)


A workshop that explores different techniques and formats for channeling voices. Introduced to me by dear friend Clara Balaguer, this technique allows you to talk through the body and voice of someone else.


This exercise creates a sense of empathy and responsibility in letting the voice of the speaker flow through you. You have to be their voice. However when you’re just a voice, it is as if you have no body. Or perhaps your body connected to the other in inexplicable ways, making it feel like you do not know where your body ends and another begins (1).


One person is talking to another participant on the phone and sharing their story. Meanwhile the listener is repeating what they hear to the rest of the group, becoming a vessel of someone else’s experience. You must think quickly to speak intelligibly, and convey the information you have heard as faithfully as possible. It is highly meditative and requires a deep focus. In a way, you don’t have to understand the others' experience. You just have to commit to amplifying it, as an exercise in listening.


(1) Listening as channelling, Clara Balaguer and Gabriel Fontana in conversation with Jeanne van Heeswijk and Rachael Rakes.Toward the Not-Yet: Art as Public Practice, edited by Jeanne Van Heeswijk, Maria Hlavajova and Rachael Rakes, Super Basic series, 2021.