Speak Truth Books

Speak Truth Books

Exhibited in Flat Files, Artspace, Kansas City | 2021

In the year 2020, I began to look around and ask, “What does truth look like?” The dangerous rise of disinformation alongside a global pandemic compelled me to start the Speak Truth project. Acts of listening, reflecting and understanding, I believe, need to be amplified continually.

I invite participants to generate audio recordings of themselves speaking truth. Encoded in each audio file is a sound wave pattern that I translate into a painting called a “truth line.”  Each truth line is unique to the speaker’s voice signature and personal truth. The Japanese-style accordion books in this portfolio represent the truth lines of four participants: Harmeet Singh, Annie Rapstoff, Susan White and Gesche Wuerfel. Each book, fabricated by book-artist Molly Rideout, contains an audio transcription and reveals the private interaction between the speakers and artists. Video clips allow the listener to hear the original audio files of spoken truths as the book pages are turned.

Speak Truth grows connectivity and meaningful experiences through global exchange. The project magnifies diverse voices by reaching people from multiple countries with various languages and world views. Currently, 45 participants represent Australia, Brazil, Iran, Canada, France, Germany, Ghana, Lithuania, UK, and USA. Languages spoken include Portuguese, Punjabi, Sorani Kurdish, Farsi, Spanish, English, and Lithuanian. The project includes participants who identify as first generation Americans, immigrants, cisgender and LGBTQIA+. Speakers have addressed their identities, placed hope for the future in their children, expressed that truth is shaped by moments in time, and distinguished the difference between factual truth and being authentically true to oneself. They have spoken in declarations, poetry, story-telling, and readings from texts that they have claimed to be their truths. The Speak Truth project reveals universal patterns in peoples’ value systems such as identity, family and the importance of voice.

Truth Line for Annie Rapstoff

The Truth Line for Annie Rapstoff.

Watch Video

Truth Line for Harmeet Singh

The Truth Line for Harmeet Singh.

Download Poem
error: © 2003-2020 Jill Downen