Ghost Wolf

Ghost Wolf

The sovereignty of bodies is conjectured through a shuffle of voices across the scaffold of hollow spaces—the mouth, pelvis; curled fists and open heart.

These voices spin and blur into an invitation to listen beyond the exacting stories we find comfort in.

Imagine the wolf, hunted almost to extinction across centuries in the U.S. and their ever-strident returns. We fear them as we conjecture dreamscapes from their howls. These spectral creatures and their autonomous nations fiercely compel some communities to seek their annihilation; others strive for management.; some are satisfied in the certainty of their hidden slinking.

It’s a mirror to contemporary political dogfights over bodily dominion, of conviction and control.

image designs
Evangeline Riddiford Graham, 2020

In a poetic mix of voices, in the barely sung utterance, in barking and yipped snarls, there’s a swirl of imaginary wolves inside the body’s cavities. There’s also an urgency to stray across landscapes of narrative around fears and survival.

We contend with a tension of opposites. The same person who absolutely values the sovereignty of reproductive rights for women might be the person who falls easily to the sway of another faith—a solid belief in government control of disease and culture, bodies and politics, scientific literacy and objectivity.

Like the metaphor of unseen wolves, there is a trope of hysteria that is palpable depending on the bodies and the faith in them.

Can these disparate stories about sovereignty be open to debate? Felt in the body itself? Formed in another kind of skulking, a striding low across the loamy, forest floor?

Ghost Wolf, 2023

Written, vocalized and composed: Joan Schuman
Appropriated Voices + Spun Concepts:
-U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (video speech in advance of reversal of Roe v Wade decision, May 11, 2022)
-Charles Eisenstein: from discussions on his writings on civilization, myth, politics, ecology (2022-23)
-Charlotte McConaghy: Once There Were Wolves
-Rick Bass: The New Wolves; The Ninemile Wolves: An Essay
-Emma Marris: Wild Souls: Freedom & Flourishing in a Non-Human World

featured online, on air, in festivals

2023 | XMTR (Transmitter), audio curated by Social Broadcasts, UK

2023 | Electroacoustical Poetical Society (EAPS) commissioned for artist collective (broadcast theme: “Disappearance”) featuring works by Brian K. Price (USA), Joan Schuman (USA), Ilaria Boffa (Italy), Tony Brewer (USA), Marjorie Van Halteren (France)