madeleine flynn and tim humphrey

Bellwether Oulu, March 2024

Bellwether is a work for audiences in a car, with a hacked sound system and semi-intelligent poetic chatbot.

It creates a collective space for 20 minutes, where the audience and the car speak with each other, about the place they are in, about the ways that things may change, about what might be possible. If no-one speaks, the work is like a film score, with a piece of music scored for the route.

If people speak, much like a film score, the music dips and the voices lead a sometime absurd proposition of possible futures and unreliable narratives of the past.

It’s been a great pleasure to create this work in the two villages of Martinneimi and Varjakka, in Oulu Finland.

In collaboration with Taikabox, Jakko Junnila and the intrepid team from Kulttuuritalo Valve: Ari-Matti Lappalainen, Ville-Mikko Sikio, our excellent producer Inka Koutaniemi and and our driver Maria Olonen.

We are grateful to those who were open to conversations about their places. We wouldn’t be here without the long term friendship and support of Johanna Tuukkanen, a long term connector across continents, our patient and thoughtful app developer, Mick Byrne, and tech wiz, Tom KcKeand.

Bellwether was supported in creative development by Sonica and Cove Park, Scotland and Substation, Melbourne.
The first presentation of Bellwether was commissioned by Wired Lab, Australia.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body and the City of Oulu, Kulttuuritalo Valve.

Image credit: Acacia Coates and Kulttuuritalo Valve

Image description: On a frozen flat plain, a car drives toward us. On the far horizon is a city.