European Mobile Lab for Interactive Artists

Artists: Duke Albada, Alexandra Berlinger (tat ort), Jeremy Bernstein, Wolfgang Fiel, (tat ort)

Type of project: Sound installation

Dimensions: Central speaker location: 2 m. diameter, speakers suspended above height of head + various objects and audio cable distributed throughout the gallery

Materials: 5 to 10 objects with one microphone and custom-made pre-amp each, 1 central microphone, approximately 200m audio cable, computer, Audio Interface, 10-20 speakers

Having started with the notion of traces, the temporal inscription of unpredictable trajectories, a number of objects serve as sonic agents for the continuous mapping of space. The audio is the mediated transposition of ambient sound, the acoustic imprint of the visitor's behavior and the sonic properties of the exhibition space. The first sounds to be captured, recorded at various locations throughout the gallery but only heard at the central speaker array, are played back unaffected and on their own. The delayed feedback of the accumulated sources causes the audio to gradually rise in volume and to become distorted as the result of an increasing number of sound layers. Spoken words and other recognizable features of previous recordings slowly devolve to background noise as visitors continue to feed the system. This noise is the daily evidence of an unfolding sonic narrative, tracking and tracing the visitors inside the gallery.

Microphones are placed in a variety of locations throughout the gallery, 'hidden' inside various objects which seem just out of place, which may belong to someone else or may have been forgotten by previous visitors, e.g. a bicycle just outside the office door, a helmet in the wardrobe or a ceramic fish placed among the usual memorabilia in the gallery shop. These objects are chosen for two reasons:

  1. They should almost, but not quite, fit in their surroundings
  2. Their material and shape distorts the recorded sound in a peculiar way (the objects act as analog filters)

Betraying their intended purpose, the microphone wiring runs (partially visible) from these objects to the central listening point, where a number of suspended speakers emit the collected variety of sounds from all over the gallery. The sounds, although slightly altered by the vessels in which they are embedded, are still audible and recognizable. Within the perimeter of this central listening post, another microphone records the accumulated audio, which is fed back into the system with a time delay.

The re-recorded sounds deform, causing their continued disintegration over time, forming the acoustic portrait of a place meditated through the `ears´ of others and procedurally altered by a staggering number of `memorised´ recordings.

Contact artist: Jeremy Bernstein (jeremy@bootsquad.com)


Project images
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