Sep 07 2005


Published by at 2:59 am under Art,Gratitude

I have to admit that, after helping the East Village Association with their huge annual Tour Des Artistes event I was pretty burnt out, and not intending to participate in the SoundWalk this year. It came as some surprise that they wanted me to participate again and it was with no small hesitation that I agreed to do so. It was my intention, initially, to do a site specific installation using a parking structure but, unfortunately, there were some issues with the site that proved to be problematic. At that point, I began thinking about other options.

There is a part of me that’s always been drawn to the idea of energy transmuting, of it changing as it passes through one medium into another. Last year’s SoundWalk piece dealt with that is a very obvious, and loud, way. This year I decided to try something a bit more subtle, and quiet.

One thing about how I work: I tend to have flashes of ideas… They come complete, without requiring much refinement. The ideas are usually very clear. This process is highly intuituve, and lacks much rational thought. Much energy, thought, and hard work go into realizing these ideas successfully, but the initial ideas are spawned in my unconscious.

Last year’s piece used a powerful speaker, with lots of wattage, to create vibrations in metal that were subsequently transferred into water that created patterns in reflected light. The sounds used came, in part, from recordings I made of my electric bass guitar. So, the energy went from mechanical (string vibration) into electronic (the bass pickup) to digital (via my soundcard) to electrical (CD player) to acoustical (the speaker) to mechanical (the stainless steel) to the water (?) then to the light.

This year’s piece was a delicately balanced metal “diving board” with a powerful sub-acoustic transducer on one end. The vibrations created by the transducer travelled down the board and created all kinds of interesting movement in the piece. Because the transducer (a Buttkicker) didn’t actually produce audible sound, the whole thing was rather quiet.

Check out this video of the piece in action but please note that the video is 28MB!

Interestingly, I was told by friends that several people began interacting with the piece due to the belief that there was some sort of trigger or activation process. I guess they went through all kinds of gesticulations to produce some reaction in the piece. Sadly, it wasn’t interactive. Maybe next year.

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