Temporary Commons is a meandering, fictional narrative with a polyphonic soundtrack, which weaves together dodgy plumbing, turbulent neighbours, unpredictable weather, canned laughter, and an invasive landlord. In a series of scenes set within the walls of a rented terraced house, the protagonist recounts the tension of hidden leaks, unstable structures and their own futile attempts at control and connection. Watery and sonic leakage presents fleeting moments of communion between the party wall… the harmony and discord, the comfort and irritation, the shared and shifted responsibility of living alongside others.
As it wheezes and strains under pressure, the house becomes another character: both eavesdropping and overheard as it slowly sinks into uneven ground. The central score is produced in collaboration with musician and artist Emma Daman Thomas.
Temporary Commons was originally commissioned by Jerwood Arts for Jerwood Solo Presentations, 2021. The original iteration was presented as a multi-channel sound installation, and was remixed as a stereo version for broadcast.
Written and narrated by Freya Dooley
Music by Emma Daman Thomas and Freya Dooley
Vocals by Emma Daman Thomas
Additional narration by Rebecca Knowles
Mix engineering by Freya Dooley
Captions by Freya Dooley in consultation with Collective Text and Ciaran Stewart
With thanks to the Jerwood Arts team and the Arts Council of Wales.
Photo credit: Freya Dooley, Temporary Commons commissioned by Jerwood Arts for Jerwood Solo Presentations 2021, photo by Anna Arca.
Originally commissioned by Jerwood Arts for Jerwood Solo Presentations 2021
Supported by Arts Council Wales