Throughout the year, generous donations from alumni and friends help to fund a diverse range of activities that support the student experience and benefit the Goldsmiths community. In a new series of blog posts, we will share a selection of projects that demonstrate the difference these projects make at the College.
The Conversation Booth is a pop-up recording studio and sound installation that creates a space to initiate new conversations and encounters between different members of London communities.
Nicole Robson, a recent MMus Sonic Arts graduate, created the booth as a participatory art project during her time as a student.
The project explores the role of technology in mediating discussion and the extent to which we can gather a consensus or coherent sense of meaning by presenting the archive as a collage. The topic of the first conversation asked the local community if gentrification was problematic in New Cross.
The booth has also been used within various outreach projects, to reach out to migrant communities in London, as part of Windrush anniversary celebrations in 2018 and as part of Africa Utopia Festival at Southbank Centre. In December 2018, the booth was also used to record the recollections of teaching alumni who returned to campus to receive an honorary degree.
With support from alumni and friends, Nicole was able to build the physical booth and host an online archive of the conversations, which are themselves, artwork. Using a computer algorithm that selects phrases of speech at random, those visiting the website hear a different narrative from the archive every time.
Since the project, the Conversation Booth has been a useful tool for community engagement at Goldsmiths and with local people in New Cross and Deptford. Nicole donated the booth to Goldsmiths so that future generations of students interested in broadcasting and podcasting can benefit.
Listen to the conversations – theconversationbooth.org
Alumni and friends also generously support students facing financial difficulties and the provision of bursaries, scholarships and prizes. For more information or to make a gift, please visit our website.