Last crit show of the year, multimedia installation with two audio channels
Moving forward from the Bargehouse show, I have been taking some feedbacks and integrated them within a new installation that allowed me to introduces some new themes as well, thus, giving the spectator the power to activate the piece and making it more immersive.
For this installation I have been dealing with the same idea of struggles in communication which I have been addressing in other pieces during the past few months, but this time I anted to focus particularly on the intercommunication among human and non-human systems. In addition to the communication theories I have been addressing in the past, I have been looking at the writings of Roy Ascott and David Dunn, particularly, I have been reflecting on the essay “music, language and environment” by David Dunn and the concept of “behavioural art” described by Roy Ascott in “Telematic Embrace”. The Installation responds to the miscommunication between the coexisting systems of humans and nature, and reflects on the incomprehension among those two as a consequence that most humans are not educated to non-human languages.
After the feedbacks from the Bargehouse show, I reflected a lot on the role of the spectator in my Installations and I worked on how to make the person the trigger for the piece. The materials selected for the installation are in part a development from the show and in part collected materials. I decided to keep exploring the possibilities of mylar since it is a reflective material that has the power to visually include the public into the work and then to put it in conversation with other artificial and found materials in a dark room. The other found materials will be some sounds and branches I have been collecting in the park I walk through every day, which has been an inspiring place for this piece. The branches are going to create a sort of dead forest while the sounds recorded are going to play through speakers. Finally the sound playing through headphones will be mixed with a Morse code translation of the sentence “Take your headphones off, choose to look, choose to listen, choose to do something about the reality you live In. You have the power to choose, you have the power to act”, which I am going to play with a tongue bell drum In order to create an atmosphere that is in contrast with the message I am trying to communicate.
My initial idea was to create a collective experience in which the viewers would have been immersed in this constructed beauty forest. Due to the limited space I had to adapt my piece and make it into an individual sort of experience, so we can call it a prototype for a bigger installation.
I started this piece in response to the constant cutting of trees in the park I walk through every day. The sudden shift in its atmosphere due to the continuous noise of chainsaws made me thinking a lot about a possible future where natural forests no longer exists. I wanted to create a piece that could suggest in a way how forests are going to look like once we have taken all the space left on this planet and at the same time remind us of our constant ignoring of nature’s messages to stop its exploitation.
I started by documenting the sounds of the park during and after the acoustic pollution caused by chansaws and then I collected them into two different mixdowns.
Since I believe that one of the causes of our environmental unsustainability is that we are not educated to nature’s language, therfore , not paying attention to its messages, i wanted to somehow recreate the same dynamic in my piece.
On top of the sounds of the park I put a coded message, played in morse code, which is a system of communication to which we are no longer educated, therefore not understandable without any effort.
The overall composition was meant to sound pleasant to listen to so that, in order not to face the reality of the trees being cut down, people had the choice to shut that noise off and enjoy their pleasant experience of constructed beauty.
Regardless the fact the the outcome of the installation may not have been what I initially planned, I am still happy with the reactions of the viewers to it.
Although the points I wanted to make got lost, since people did not understand the audio and got confused about the reason of it being two different sounds, the first impact was the same for everyone.
Since I am working within problems in communication, I do not expect people to understand my pieces, I’d rather get them confused as if through my work I am generating other issues of incommunicability. What I really want is for them to participate in a unique experience which is available in that very space and time.