On completing my final installation for the show I’m relatively happy with the final outcome. I had a few hardware problems towards the end and had to downgrade on the speakers that I was using. I realised that my boxes have come a long way from when I was starting to make a faraday cage and it’s interesting to look at how they have developed. I wasn’t actually planning on the room looking so eerie, those red lights from the arduino are just a mistake but I’m happy with them as it just adds another interesting element to it. One thing that I’m really disappointed with is the lack of information I have about the piece, especially the fully recording of the parcel. When I listen back to the sounds myself it’s quite interesting to listen to a certain number out of the 141 because I’m able to have a guess about whereabouts it is due to how high or low the number is. Unfortunately unless I add something before Thursday there is no way that somebody will be able to know what point the sound is up to. One of the things that I would definitely change if I could would be the boxes and the speakers. I would much prefer some kind of metal box and massive subwoofers.
I feel as though a lot more could have been done in the room that I was provided but none the less I made use of the fact that nobody else is going to be in close proximity to me. Now I just hope other people are intrigued b what they hear or see. A few more tweaks are needed before next Thursday.
Although I missed a chunk of installing my work for the final show I wouldn’t have changed it for the world as Glastonbury truly is my most favourite place in the world with so much to do and see. I went to visit Wolfgang Buttress ‘Beam’ installation whilst I was there and was blown away by how much had into the piece and how it is somewhat related to things that I have been interested in when creating sound installations. In this sound installation Buttress records the sound of a bee hive live through accelerometers, and their live signals are transmitted to Beam and converted into light and sound, essentially expressing the mood and energy of the colony, live, as an inhabitable experience. The bees were ultimately playing the role as DJ. This humming sound was very calm and soothing to the point where I sat in the middle for almost an hour in pour silents. The installation was in the Greenpiece area of Glastonbury and eventually a volunteer came and spoke to me about the installation. It turns out that the volunteer is a sound designer currently studying his MA in Sound Design, I spoke to him about my background and what I’ve currently been trying to do for the part couple of years coming from a predominately visual background and we had a lengthy chat and exchanged numbers. Me and my new friend also have a very similar taste in music and we’re currently exchanging ideas.
Bring this sounds new life and meaning is something that I would like to do in other new and exciting ways. Unfortunately we had a conversation about how much the equipment was to install that work and how many people worked on it but it’s still not going to stop me. Making artwork is a hobby to me and that what I’ll end up spending my money on the majority of the time. Even m final show next week is out of my price range.
Before I went off to Glastonbury I had a couple of days to get as much done as I could. I painted the whole room black and took a second count of measurements. I also had a look at some likes that could possibly light up my sound recorder if I get it returned to me in time. The main painstaking job was painting the room, the rest is now finishing off my boxes.
Right at the very begin of the course I was interested in exploring sound as a chosen medium. Before the start of the MA I hadn’t really dabbled in using sound much as saw these two years as a way of growing a greater understand of not only how to make artwork using sound but also what theoretical relevance sound has in art.
During the interm show last year I got my first taste of trying to exhibit a piece of work which challenged my most recent research and to date it is the only piece of work other then the upcoming degree show which I’m happy to put in a portfolio of work. Having the work in the interm show and the upcoming MA show has put me in a position where I need to create work because I have a space where I can show work. This privileged possession is one which I would like to be in more often which is why I must make more of an effort with making connections and asking places if they can show some of my work as it’s simply not going to come to me.
Although I struggled massively with my research paper a substantial amount was taken from it on how I should approach my practice when using sound in the future if I continue to do so. I would necessarily say that my research paper was the driving force to my current practice it was reflective thinking on research surrounding sound.
Space, time and money are the three things which have unfortunately governed my past two years in producing artwork but this isn’t something which has or will ever stop me. A few years before the start of my MA I’d been producing a substantial amount work work which I was proud of and I feel as though ever since then I’m trying to chase the same work ethic and freedom. In the near future my focus is going to be on producing more work that I can fit into a portfolio and trying to find places which will show my work alongside hopefully having more space for my practice to evolve.
Not everything has to happen right now, being 26 I’m aware that I have a lot of time, (even if that time is part time) to work on what I enjoy doing which is making artwork. Sound art is something that I have made but a sound artist is something that I wouldn’t define myself as. I’m simply an artist. I’ve known for a long time now that I’ll never stop trying to create artwork and I look to ultimately broaden on everything which I have worked on over the years.
‘Parcel Number: 1ZA66R340494943837’ – This is the title of my final installation piece on the MA as the installation is centred around the parcel which I sent to my friend in Washington DC with an active sound recorder inside the parcel. In my square room I’m going to have the walls painted black and if possible I’m going to try and fave the floor fabricated. Objects in the room will include a plinth with the parcel and black box rested on the plinth with a backlight. There will also be 8 black boxes which have speech playing from different parts of the duration of the parcel. These boxes will open and close automatically by themselves at random times. I’m yet to finalise how these boxes will be laid out around the room. Finally there will be a beanbag in the centre of the room with noise cancelling headphones rested on the to invite people to listen to whats being played.
There’s a lot of different sounds that we normally can’t hear or choose not to hear and I’m simply bring these sounds to attention. Most of the sounds alone would be disinteresting to people until they understand where the sounds are coming from. There’s also the status of the object (parcel) which is by itself not very interesting until people discover something about the life of the object. I was planned to have the sound of the parcel playing out loud but I want to limit the amount of people that listen to the full sound recording to one because the I want the object and the viewer to have more of an intimate relationship. Therefore I will have the full audio recording playing on an mp3 player with noise canceling headphones. Due to the full length of sound being 48:00:46 long I understand that people aren’t going to be able to listen to every second of the recording so I’ll have 8 boxes that all play speech that I have found in the 48hrs of recording. The sounds of the voice will be muffled because they’ll be in a confined box until they open exposing one of the sounds greater than the other. This gives viewers a chance to listen to some of the really interesting parts of the journey and hopefully allows them to consider ambient sounds around them in everyday life.
Keywords: Hidden Sounds, Ambience, Object, Sound
I want the view to fill comfortable so that they can actually engage in listening to the sounds, especially the full length recording. Having fabric on the ground and a bean bag is all to try and get the audience to feel comfortable enough in the room to stay and listen to the full length recording as long as possible. If I can find the right comfort for the floor I might ask people to take their shoes off before they enter. I got inspiration from this by going to visit the dream house in Manhattan where an appartment had been transformed into a sound installation for the public to enter, before you enter you have to take your shoes off and theres cushion everywhere and a really comfortable carpet, it draws you in to listen as deep as you possibly can.
From this tutorial I got a greater understanding of certain decisions I should be making in the near future. When it comes to the degree show in a couple weeks people spoke about how important it is that people understand what it is when they go into my space and listen to the sounds. So a short explanation of what people are listening to is vital. We also discussed the capacity of my room and how many people that I would like to be in the room at the same time. In the explanation I’m considering having a one in one out policy so that one a person enters the space they are not distracted by others and that the relationship between the sounds, object and person is of more significants.
On talking about further plans Kaori highlighted the importance for working on the method of collecting sounds through sending them to places that we normally are unable to hear. There’s clearly something in it and instead of dropping it and seeing it as a dead end try and think deeper into how I can implement the process into other pieces of work that I might do in the future especially whilst travelling around Asia. Whilst I’m in Asia as well it’s worth me looking up art scenes in various locations and attempt to build connections and possibly find an opportunity to create something whilst I’m out there. My plan is to be in Japan for a few months in the winter which is where I can have an actual base for awhile.
I’ve come to discover that I’m ever more fascinated by low fidelity soundscapes within cities. The overlay of different sounds creating this noise pollution is intriguing and I’m interested in doing a few field recordings in different locations as a starting point for something of a project without a strong focus or direction. I’m flying to India firstly and then various other destinations around Asia to get a glimpse of the sounds that the East produce in contrary to the west. It would be interesting to see if a person can hear the difference between say New Delhi and Singapore. I’m going to be taking a camera with me also to possibly try and working on a previous experiment where I was trying to film a virtually inactive visual environment which so happens to be extremely loud.
My trip will begin a couple weeks after the end of my final term on my MA. Documentation of this journey in one way or another I think is vital as I’ve learnt in the past couple of years. I’m not sure if it is a good idea to continue using this blog or I will start a brand new wordpress page which is solely dedicated to my findings on my trip.
Had a tutorial with Johnathan on Tuesday and we spoke about what i’m thinking of showing on the MA show, where I could possibly show it and what I am planning after the MA is over. In my mind recently I’ve been fixated showing what I already had planned for the MA show, finishing it and moving on to producing different bodies of work and experimenting with things that I haven’t yet experimented it over the past two years.
In a sense the MA show had been holding me back because I was thinking about getting it over with and whats in store after. Instead of this transitional period I should be focusing on what I can do in the coming month and not see is as a stepping stone. As an artist I feel as though I should consciously consider fluidity rather than stop and start process as a way of thinking about making, to prevent stability rather than encourage it as I get too fixated.
When speaking to Johnathan we were discussing the boxes I’ve been making and he began to believe that I was going to be showing them in my MA show. I had to explain that they are just something that I’m working on but I’m not thinking about showing them in the show and that they are actually not linked to my parcel project at all. I had considered only briefly about linking the too projects but they had both strung from different thinking patterns. Being so cemented in my thinking I didn’t really give the thought of trying to combine the two seriously but after talking I’ve opened up on the idea. Fluidity..
A word which really stuck out from having the talk and it was “life”. When talking about where I see my work heading towards that was a word that was mentioned and really resonated with me. These boxes are are alive with sound, movement, and they have a presents about them. This is the current trajectory that I will try and push for my work, sound being the starting point. Sound is a restless sense which is alway full of life and I feel as though I’ve been relying on the sounds purely where as an artist I would like to compliment sounds to their fullest potential.
The plan is to now then think about how I could include my boxes into the MA show? How can I add more life and movement into my work? Whilst considering from now until probably years to come that there isn’t a stop and start period in creating artwork, it is all forever in transition and that including this MA and the following few months.
I decide to play variations of John Bercow calling for order in the house of commons. Once one of the boxes is opened the sound is overpowering over the boxes that are closed. Instead of me opening it I’m going to be using a motor but I just need a bit of MDF to glue to the levers to open them which I’ll get sometime next week. I’m also looking at getting more practical speakers because these from china are just incredible dodgy. I used an app on my phone which converts speech to text to see it it could pick up anything and it struggled to hear anything. I actually couldn’t get a single word out, not even “order”. So what I’m thinking is trying to use different speakers and maybe a different app or microphone to try and see if and computer can get any words out of these sounds.