Part and Parcel

8-channel sound work

Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, UK, 2008
Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK, 2012

John Wynne


In some intensive care wards, the body disappears in favour of its signs, which appear on electronic screens in another room... At last the body becomes invisible as such: literally hidden under the sheets and behind the mask and accessible only through disembodied metaphors.

James Elkins
The Object Stares Back

This vanishing, into illness and transformation (either through transplant or death, or a vanishing into the medical environment) is a central issue of John Wynne and Tim Wainwright’s Transplant project: the sound work, the voices, the photographs. In John Wynne’s sound piece – Part and Parcel – an immersive spatialised field of whirring and bleeping, crashing and humming, disembodied distant voices and near-field speech – is created from the audio material he has collected in Harefield Hospital. The disorientating impression of envelopment in a confused web of sound is very strong, but this is repeatedly pulled back to specifics by recordings of the patients themselves. Feelings of fragility are pervasive and clearly audible in these bedside recordings: every tremor and lapse; the halting and wheezing of breath; the breaks in which speech is overwhelmed by tears; the pain of what is said; the grain of how it is said. 

David Toop
‘Depths and Clamour; Inside and Outside’ in Transplant book