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Co-commissioned by Artangel and Manchester International Festival, Audio Obscura was a sound work by award-winning poet and novelist Lavinia Greenlaw. In an aural equivalent to the camera obscura, the audience experienced the project in a solitary way - hearing fragments of individual narratives, glimpses of interior worlds drawn from monologues that glance off one another, hovering between speech and unconscious thought.


The design of the kiosk is inspired by the geometry of a seashell – a common reference to sound and hearing – and camera obscura. It is a temporary installation as well as an information point where 42 headsets are stored and distributed to the public.

Its sculptural presence makes it adaptable to two different settings. In Piccadilly Station, the kiosk appears to penetrate the glazed concourse, drawing attention from the train platforms. In St Pancras station, the kiosk is located in the middle of the arcade, visible from all sides and the second floor. 


During the day, the frontage transforms into a desk for the invigilators, and at night the kiosk is fully closed, with event details on its door. The bespoke palette of grey tones echoes the monochrome nature of the text and Julian Adams’ photography for the book.

co-commissioned by Artangel and

Manchester International Festival

a sound work by Lavinia Greenlaw

sound design  Tim Barker

 Harry Escott

sound production  Somethin’ Else

fabrication  Freshwest

photography  James Whitaker

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