Playing with words: The spoken word in artistic practice


Edited by Cathy Lane

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ISBN 978 1 910010 30 3
208pp, 234 x 156, paperback
Illustrated throughout in colour and black & white

First published 2008 by RGAP
Uniformbooks edition 2015


Reviews and articles

“…captures numerous valuable snapshots of activity in areas that are often only semi-visible…”
The Wire, April 2009

John F. Barber review
Leonardo Online

Deanna Radford review

Playing with words: the spoken word in artistic practice is a collection of responses from over 40 leading contemporary composers and artists who were invited to represent aspects of their creative practice with words, and in particular, the spoken word, for the printed page.

The book concentrates on the kinds of creative play to be found in different sound based genres such as electroacoustic music composition, text sound composition, and sound poetry while reflecting artistic practices in disciplines of such as digital arts, electronic, concrete and experimental poetry, performance art and fine art. The contributors have chosen to represent their work in a variety of different ways which include writing, graphics, poetry, photographs and through interview.

Contributions by Tomomi Adachi, Laurie Anderson, Ansuman Biswas, Jaap Blonk, Lars-Gunnar Bodin, Alessandro Bosetti, Oliver Bown, Viv Corringham, Thomas Gardner, Iris Garrelfs, Clive Graham, Sten Hanson, Dirk Huelstrunk, Sianed Jones, Joan La Barbara, Brandon LaBelle, Leigh Landy, Cathy Lane, Language Removal Services, Paul Lansky, Ellen Moffat, Katharine Norman, Nye Parry, Joerg Piringer, Brown Sierra, Imogen Stidworthy, J. Milo Taylor, Sue Tompkins, David Toop, Barry Truax, Michael Vincent, Salomé Voegelin, Julian Weaver, Larry Wendt, Charlotte White, Trevor Wishart, John Wynne, Pamela Z.

Spoken word scores by Paul Burwell, Bob Cobbing, Benji Fox, Chris Jones, Taigen Kawabe, Ross Knipe, Lina Lapelyte, Andrew Locke, David Toop, Manuel Xastre.


Cathy Lane is a composer, sound artist, lecturer and researcher. Her work combines oral history, archival recordings and environmental recordings to investigate histories, environments, our collective and individual memories and the forces that shape them. She also collaborates with choreogaphers, film makers, visual artists and other musicians. She established the department of Sound Arts and Design and now co-directs CRiSAP.