On a sunny winter’s afternoon last year I captioned an unusual event (at least for a captioner) that explored the “relationship between law and listening, justice and the acoustic”.
In the opening address it was said, “All of these will explore, in different ways, ideas and practices at the intersections of law, sound and listening. As for today, our intention is to work with the courtroom, its technologies, norms and procedures as our medium. When audio evidence is heard in court, these are the speakers that are used and the screens that are used for testimony provided by videolink often from prisons around Australia. Max and Carol are court officers. Carmel is a stenographer. What we want to do is work with and against the ordinary principles of courtroom morality to extend and overreach them in order to make them audible and so susceptible to fatigue.”
Hang on...rewind...what? It was certainly different to a normal courtroom and at one point I even had to caption the ambient sounds of the room rather than the testimony!
It turned out to be a great afternoon and although highly unusual (and therefore stressful) for someone like me, we all had a lot of fun. Yes, I had fun at work! How many people can say that?
The event was held at the Commonwealth Law Courts in Melbourne. Last week I received photos from the event and I’m posting some here for you to look at. I particularly like the one of my steno machine. What a beautiful photo taken by Keelan O’Hehir.