In combat with…. was an experimental work made for the 2010 exhibition 2010 Dead Fingers Talk: The Tape Experiments of William S. Burroughs at IMT Gallery, London in 2010.
It was relatively recently that I learnt about the ‘inner voice’. I don’t think I have one. At least not one that talks to me in ‘words’. When I am not talking or listening or actively ‘thinking’ I realise that I am often completely blank. OK – occasionally something pops into that blankness – something I haven’t done, or have to do, a train of though, an idea……sometimes a song or a rhythm goes round and round in my head but I’m not sure that I would way it’s a ‘voice’ and most of the time it’s not there.
Since discovering the concept and existence of the inner voice I have asked people about theirs – What is it like? What sort of things does it say? Who is speaking? One voice or many? I have discovered there are many kinds of voices and people are very often reluctant to reveal them. Is the inner voice a truer reflection of the self – or is it one of many viral invaders insinuated into us from the media, our parents, outer space or our evil twin?
Fortunately a close and generous friend of mine has a very very active inner voice and often entertains me with running commentary of her inner thoughts – a marvellous mixture of obsession, mundane observations, self criticism and surreal reflection already cut up, looped permutated and processed in her head.
I recorded the workings of her inner voice on a number of occasions. An outcome of this experiment is the certain realisation that many of the things that someone says to themselves or even the things they say to friends are not things that they would want recorded and played to acquaintances or strangers (in the same city) so I have rejected much of the material. “In combat with…” mainly uses recordings from one occasion when I dropped round early one morning for breakfast.