Location One invited me to do a version of
Slowscan Soundwave (II) in their main gallery. There are five 15' tall columns of
transparent mylar strips hanging from the ceiling and two long swoops of mylar cutting a V across
the room. Mounted in two corners and on one column are sound-activated motor mechanisms, each of which
vibrates two of the mylar elements. The motors are connected to the mylar elements via long lengths
of twine that ricochet around the room from motor to mylar through a sequence of pulleys.
A loud sound causes a motor to turn, the motor tugs on the twine, the twine transfers
energy across the room via the pulleys and ultimately gently pulls on a mylar strip. Lights are
focused on the mylar so that water-like reflections and shadows are cast on the gallery
walls, causing delicate ripples and distortions when sounds are made.
Slowscan Soundwave (III) continues exploring the idea of making difficult to perceive
phenomena a little more perceivable, while attempting to preserve some of the the subtlety and
beauty that make the phenomena compelling in the first place. Here I was thinking a lot about
the way sounds travel, and in particular the idea that when a sound happens in one place it has
repercussions throughout the space. So when a truck goes by the front window and makes a BANG! as
it bounces over a pothole it not only changes the air pressure where human ears are listening, but
also causes vibrations in the remote corners of the room. The zigzagging twine connections between
motors and mylar, and the placement of the motors as far as possible from the mylar they're
vibrating, are attempts to get at these ideas.
Slowscan Soundwave (III) was installed at
Location One from 11 October - 26 November, 2005 as part of
Slowscan Soundave (III) & The Telaesthetic Finger, currated by Heather Wagner.
Special thanks to the crew at Location One for their support and encouragement!
Slowscan Soundwave (III) received a very nice review in
NY Arts Magazine. (pdf version)