Field Documentation, week 3

I will be the first to admit that our field group has been in a bit of a shamble for a while now, mainly as we were all struggling with our perceptions of the theme that our group was following. This was mainly a lack of communication experienced during the first two weeks, as well as the addition of another member, Jadene during the second week, who was more than happy to pursue the theme of Sensory Overload after we had all began to move towards Deprivation. Of course, we stepped back and approached both of these subjects from a fresh start. We began to talk about the possibility of combining the two ideas together somehow, prompted by Jadene’s ideas and Laura’s suggestion that we should research it as to not leave her out whilst she was away that week.

We then began to determine what sense would be the most beneficial to symbolise these depravities and overloads, headed by Rhys, we began to evaluate; Touch and Sight were explored, but it was decided that they could have outcomes that were naive and quite possibly dangerous,  especially with the previous thoughts of overloading someone’s senses with a bright flashing light (not my finest hour). Taste and smell were also considered, but were deemed impractical and cast away to one side. Sound, for all it’s worth, was considered the most effective sense for the project; Aurally, we encounter so many different sounds and experiences a day, from the sound of passers-by talking, to the sound of the traffic, to the sound of the gentle breeze blowing through the streets; The city is a constantly buzzing environment. Laura did have concerns that the recordings of the city could be seen as infantile, but we all agreed that we’d much rather focus on man-made sounds, such as footsteps or the sounds of people talking, as these are far more personal to the viewer, and therefore far more powerful in their effect.

We then began to discuss how we would showcase these human made sounds; Laura discussed the use of a system that records the sounds of someone’s footsteps and then plays it back at them, mixing with the sound of their own footsteps and disorientating them. Ruby then suggested a corridor in which the echoes would be far more effective, as they would resound better, as well as the recordings resounding back and forth. This reminded me of a piece we looked at the week previously; ‘I am sitting in a room’, by Alvin Lucier, which I will discuss in the next post. This was an idea backed by the entirety of our group, and so our initial concept took form and we now have something to develop! Ruby also suggested the idea of a room at the end of the corridor that somehow removed all sound from the space; ‘Sound Dampers’ said a rather audio technology knowledgeable Rhys.

The piece has a plot, and a theme, now all it needs is a title;

‘An experimental installation to demonstrate sensory overload & Deprivation within the city, through a human Auditory Experience.’

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