Carey Dodge


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

beginnings of idea

So I have some beginnings of my idea for the installation in the ravine. Actually, I am more in the middle.

The ravine is divided into two spaces like so:

In my highly technical diagram you can see the two spaces labelled: POOL and RAVINE. These spaces are separated by a wall which is represented by the dotted line.

In the RAVINE I will have speakers hidden in various locations. From these speakers I will have spoken comments on the topic of sanctuary, conservatory, safety, escape (i haven't decided the exact slant for the asking of words from the public yet). My original idea was to have an answering machine-type device at the entrance and/or exit and ask people visiting to record a message about their thoughts on the ravine (e.g. why they are there? what feeling do they get while they are there?). However, after discussion with Michael, I think a more direct approach will be stronger. Possibly interviewing people asking for three words that come to mind when I say the word 'sanctuary' or something along those lines. This approach I believe will be more evocative of the feeling I want to create in the ravine.

In the POOL I have a more 'traditional' concept for a sound art installation. I have made a patch that measures the frequency spectrum of the live recorded sound (probably of the RAVINE or the surrounding botanic gardens. this is not decided yet). It then uses this to create deep bellowing meditative chords much like an organ but different. The chords play heavily with the subwoofer so if you have one attached to you computer, it is better.

This example ( is from sound from a microphone placed out the window at SARC going through the patch I made.

This example ( is a combination of the same microphone out the window and a water sound. It is interesting to note the change in the chords when water is added to the mix. Also, later in the recording a plane goes by and this further changes the chords... they become more aggressive.

With this I am hoping to create a 'sanctuary' or meditative space. The sounds aim to heighten the sense of sanctuary in the space and and encourage a state of contemplation. As the chords are affected by the ambient sound, this also heightens the sense of place and looks outward. That is, grounding the Tropical Ravine in its place as a sanctuary 'in relation to the world outside' as opposed to, 'in isolation from the world outside'... if that makes sense?

I don't want to go too off topic, but this distinction comes from the fact that I don't think I would have found the Tropical Ravine to be a sanctuary if it was located in the middle of the countryside. The fact is, the Tropical Ravine is in the middle of a city with a not too distant history of violence and aggression, amongst other things...

until the next post...

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  • At 7:40 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I really like your idea of the sanctuary being not out in the country but within the city, the chao, the white noise. The water sample definitely captures that feeling. I hear the sound of the earth and the "outside" sounds together but separate. There is definitely a sense of hiding away and listening to both worlds.



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