Session 10: Jenny Brady: ‘A-Weighted Response’

Watch the films: The films in this programme can be viewed anytime between 25 March and 3 April via the Essay Film Festival online screening room. LINK HERE.

Live event: join us for a live conversation with artist Jenny Brady, chaired by Lauren Collee. 2 April 2021, 19:00 — 20:30. Join here at 19.00:

“A-Weighted Response” is a four-part event, held in collaboration with artist-researcher Jenny Brady, exploring themes of communication, language and technological mediation. Three of Brady’s recent short films will be shown alongside a film programme specially curated by the artist, reflecting her current research into performance, authorial voice, and the relationship between film and sonic practice. A special interview between Brady and experimental composer Alvin Lucier will be available to view in the screening room alongside the two programmes of films. Jenny Brady will be live in conversation on the 2nd of April.

Jenny Brady’s work as an artist and researcher reflects the impossible ideal of ‘pure’ communication by foregrounding the politics at play in language, sound, and communicative gestures. In Receiver (2019), we encounter scenes of protest and heated negotiation with the management at a university for Deaf students. In Bone (2015), a voice that sits uneasily between the technological, the animal and the human reveals how different communicative norms become enmeshed. In Wow and Flutter (2013), a too-eloquent parrot delivers an ambiguous message on the trappings of anthropocentrism, performing our desire to hear nature speak. Brady’s films refuse to take the act of communication for granted, unpacking the ways in which our world determines who speaks, who is heard, and how. 

Featuring work by Mike Dunford, Imogen Stidworthy and Lucy Clout, the curated programme reflects Brady’s current research into Alvin Lucier’s 1982 performance Music for Solo Performer, touching on the traces of intimacy to be found in performance and recitation, and the traces of performance to be found in intimate conversation. 

Jenny Brady will be live in conversation on Friday 2 April at 7pm.

Film information:

Programme #1: Three shorts by Jenny Brady

Bone, Jenny Brady, Ireland, 2015, digital, 10 minutes, English.

Filmed primarily in a photo studio for pet portraiture, Bone unpacks the lines of linguistic association drawn between the animal and female subject, asking how language entrenches patterns of domination and subordination. 

Receiver, Jenny Brady, Ireland, 2019, digital, 15 minutes, English

Woven out of overlapping channels of communication, Receiver is a unique collage of Deaf history, pulling together scenes of interrogation, re-enactment, protest and negotiation at a university for deaf students to explore the confrontations and mediations that occur at the intersection of differing communicative norms. 

Wow and Flutter, Jenny Brady, Ireland, 2013, digital, 5 minutes, English.

How does one make nature speak? Featuring a parrot as its central character and drawing on research into animal cognition, Wow and Flutter explores the way in which translation, performance and rhetoric are employed to conjure a voice that is fundamentally hybrid. 

Programme #2: Three shorts curated by Jenny Brady

Nohi Abassi, Mike Dunford, UK, 1989, 28 minutes, digital, English.

A reader performs an unrehearsed recitation of the story of the hunter Nohi-Abassi, an Indigenous folk tale from Brazil and Guyana. As the recording is multiplied, interrupted and disordered, set against footage of a non-descript bureaucratic space, the tale loses chronology and sense, becoming instead a demonstration of the physicality of the voice. 

Barrabackslarrabang, Imogen Stidworthy, UK, 2010, 9 minutes, digital, English/Backslang

Shot in two Liverpool pubs, Barrabackslarrabang features characters speaking in two different forms of backslang – a form of slang associated with working class culture that traditionally evolved out of the need to speak privately about illegal activity – exploring language as a site of refuge, resistance, identity and desire.

The Extra’s Ever Moving Lips, Lucy Clout, UK, 2014, 7 minutes, digital, English

Two forensic lip-readers attempt to transcribe the words spoken by extras which appear in the background of an Australian soap opera, raising questions about the differences between functional and atmospheric forms of speech. 


Jenny Brady is an artist filmmaker based in Dublin, exploring ideas around speech, translation and communication. Her films have been presented at Projections at the New York Film Festival, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, MUBI, International Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, EMAF, Videonale, Experimenta at BFI London Film Festival, Images Festival, November Film Festival, the Irish Film Institute, EVA International, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, The Whitechapel Gallery and Tate Liverpool. She was the inaugural IMMA 1000 artist-in-residence at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and is a studio artist at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin.

Alvin Lucier, born 1931, is an American experimental composer whose work explores the physical properties of sound and plays with auditory perception. He is a professor of music at Wesleyan University and was a member of the music collective Sonic Arts Union. Among his most famous works are I Am Sitting in a Room (1969), North American Time Capsule (1966), Music on a Long Thin Wire (1977) and Clocker (1978). 

This event is in collaboration with CHASE Doctoral Partnership and LUX Artist’s Moving Image


LUX Moving Image: Reading and viewing list compiled by Jenny Brady to accompany online exhibition Receiver

Red Bull Music Academy: Alvin Lucier lecture

Café Oto: Alvin Lucier