Concept and Context
The Home Brick explores the sensations of home, voice and brickmaking. The Home Brick is born from the ground, from the earth that somebody lives on, cured in the local atmosphere and imprinted with a tactile sonic description of home. The Home Brick allows the audience to engage with voice and accent, both typically intangible and ephemeral phenomena, in a tangible way that can be held and felt. Through the project we collect ideas about the sensation of home and how it is interwoven with our identity.
Posing questions about how language and voice is represented in archival form, this sculptural archive of bricks challenges the expected form of engagement with an audio archive. Bricks have been in use for over 6,000 years, but the use of bricks crafted from mud and clay reaches back even further. The process of brick making by hand is considered endangered by The Heritage Crafts Association. The Home Brick explores the tactility of the brick making process with the act of making being integral to the 'finished' artefact.
An iterative process has allowed us to reflect on each version giving the artefact a micro heritage of its own. We would encourage others to not see the process and product as separate entities, for us the brick output is as important as the process. Our recollections and memories of the sensations we’ve experienced in making, designing and collaborating have been a key part of this process.
Home is a place where I feel comfortable, where I can put on some slippers and truly relax. It’s warm, safe and quiet. On a summer’s morning I’m alone with the birds in contemplation with a cup of coffee. It’s my retreat, my solace and my place to be me. I welcome friends and family with warmth and generosity. We laugh and bond together regularly. For me, home isn’t a place it’s a feeling of ultimate contentment, a visceral emotion.
We acknowledge that we have followed the path most relatable to our own concepts of home. In some cultures the Home Brick may be alienating and it is therefore important that we remain open to alternative versions of this project exploring different representations of Home.
We intend to continue to work on the Home Brick project exploring further the sensation of home and voice through the process of brick making. While we have been discussing this project, we have come up with several ways in which the Home Bricks might be used including, but not limited to, passing on voice/accent through generations; part of a community art project where people’s voices become embedded in place perhaps empowering ownership and belonging; or in the fabric of buildings to record voices as traces of previous occupants. There is also potential to develop how the Home Brick plays back the audio in different ways, perhaps using touch or sensors, to co-create a material community archive of bricks.