Surround sound audio, installed in ceiling grid.

Story by China Meilville
Concept and performance by Nathan Jones
Recording and production by Carl Brown

Taking its title from a newly commissioned piece of writing by China Mieville, New Death is an audio interpretation of Mieville’s thoughts of what the future of death might be; his imaginings of how our bodies may die differently.

The work looks to draw out the uncanny implications for time, physics and digitality in the qualities of this New Death. Working with sound designer Carl Brown, to carefully rearticulate Mievelle’s narrative, I presented an ambiguous, complex and contradictory interpretation of the original story.

The audio work is an extension of my practice exploring the notion of error in writing and language, and how this relates to technology.  With New Death, I introduced a variety of linguistic and para-linguistic quirks to the computer voice – for example adding ‘accent’ and ‘breath’, at the expense of clarity.

This has an effect of degenerating the normally slick communication of the computer voice into something which is more human and affecting.  The dialogue is situated even more ambiguously by the addition of filters and performative gestures which make the artist’s own voice less recognisably human.

Listen to some excerpts here:

Many thanks to Kazimir for installing the work in flattering surroundings.


This was a new commission for FACT, and the world premiere of the piece.