Sounds of the Home

Teagan Watkins
soundwork, installation
displacement home homelessness positionality daily life

“I had had a hard day’s work, and was pretty well jaded when I came climbing out, at last, upon the level of Blackheath. It cost me some trouble to find out Salem House; but I found it, and I found a haystack in the corner, and I lay down by it; having first walked round the wall, and looked up at the windows, and seen that all was dark and silent within. Never shall I forget the lonely sensation of first lying down, without a roof above my head! ... I prayed that I never might be houseless anymore, and never might forget the houseless. I remember how I seemed to float, then, down the melancholy glory of that track upon the sea, away into the world of dreams.

As a collaborator in the Big Book Field Studio, I created a sonic piece titled Sounds of the Home. After reading Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, I was originally inspired by the novel’s representation of the young David’s orphan displacement. This project is a sonic archive of the sounds of being housed such as a door, a shower, or air conditioning. Through reflection and observation, I wanted to address my privilege of having a home—through considering how this sounds, rather than how it looks. This project aims to cultivate a more critical and reflective positionality about how housing impacts our daily lives and sense of belonging. I encourage you to think about your position in relation to these complex ideas of displacement and houselessness in Tucson and beyond.

Teagan Watkins is a sophomore Honors student at the University of Arizona and is originally from Denver, Colorado. She is studying Applied Humanities with an emphasis in Public Health and minors in French and Nutrition. She has a passion for culture, community, and wellness.

"Sounds of the Home Teagan Watkins © 2022  Produced for Big Book Field Studio © 2022