A History Of Whispers


A History of Whispers is an ongoing project consisting of a fictional novel, and a multidisciplinary chronicle of the lives of characters within that story. Mixing the archetypical concept of a transformative heroic journey with the role of an artist in the twenty-first century, A History of Whispers has its protagonists undertake a quest, and their journey is introduced through such diverse artefacts as scrolls, written pages, textiles, jewellery, ceremonial weapons and ornaments, drawings, paintings, ceramics and reliefs.

The hypothetical novel provides a conceptual framework in which storytelling is celebrated—through the romanticism of turn-of-the-century art, the idealism of expressionist architecture and design, the critical structure of twentieth century philosophy, the feverish speculation of historical science fiction and the visceral narrative quality of pop culture like anime and videogame graphics—while challenging the supposed dichotomy of beauty versus profundity.

Drawing on the words of Rilke who saw himself circling “around the ancient tower … for a thousand years” without reaching an understanding of his own nature, A History of Whispers explores the universal search for wisdom through the central processes of world building and narrative. It becomes a heterotopic space in which each work expands the story, where the characters develop while the storylines and events unfold. And while they pass through the evolving world they burn a little brighter.

“I stood alone, looking out of the high-domed windows of my potion room. I surveyed the courtyard below: the lanterns hanging from the rooftops, the gates in the distance. Had it already been a year since this room was bestowed upon me?
Back then it had seemed the most wonderful place, home to a thousand bottles and cures, seemingly alive with their shimmering contents. Hundreds of books holding age-old secrets lined the circular walls.
But tonight it was me who decided on love and hate, who would live and who would grieve. My time in this tower had made me into its god.
As I stood there, snowflakes started falling from the darkened sky and, slowly, while the day faded from the room, everything below became obscured by the snow, hiding the shape of things, taking away the light and the distance. The world became very still.
I turned to face the room. It was time.
One by one, I let all my thoughts fall away, and with them, my doubts. Because there is no good or evil, except that thinking makes it so.
I worked all night, mixing up an intricate poison. And when the iridescent sky awoke, I was ready. A blend as sweet as a first kiss and as enchanting as a gifted flower. Oh but yes, a thing of beauty can so easily deceive.”