This installation brings the artist’s experience closer to the audience, making them be not only passive spectators but share a responsibility in the existence of the work. The audience is invited to live it, to participate in it, therefore becoming part of it.
The purpose of this work is also to reach out from the ‘entertainment’ value of sound (as in pop music, cinema, sports) into a more meaning-free and aesthetic approach. Sound as a means to build an immersive environment, used not only as medium but also as means.
This installation occupies a room with 3 white hammocks, each one having nearby one or two big glass cylinders filled with water.
Inside each hammock there is a container with objects made of various elements. The cylinders are equipped with contact microphones the capture in real-time sound events produced by the participants.
The visitor lies on the hammocks and interacts with the sonic cylinders, dropping objects on the water, or simply touching the glass. It is possible to participate without lying on the hammocks, this work does not imply limitations or obligations, it presents a free environment and it is the audience who really decides the pace, touching or just feeling the sound generated by others.
The produced sound is processed in real time and routed through a surround matrix, increasing the sonic potential of the multiple events generated by the audience, thus building a sonic performance that springs from the conversation and discovery of each intervening element of the audience.
As time goes by, the digital processes that modulate the physical vibrations of cylinders change position and settings, allowing the participant to discover new relationships with the objects and the sonic speech shared with others. A play of recognition develops between them, or attempts at patterns by repeating interesting results.
The piece has also a performative potential that can be explored by the artist, as he modulates the digital sonic signals in real time, with a gestural man-machine interface.
The artist’s intention is to provoke a slow-down effect that will increase awareness of details in sound manipulation, and resulting fascination.
It is important to mention that this work was conceived during a 30-day artistic residence in São Paulo, Brazil, where being in contact with the ideas of Ligya Clark and Helio Oiticica, big names of Brazilian art that never before influenced the construction of my pieces, affected
the reading and contextualization process of this installation. This work was presented before knowing the projects of Oticica and Lygia, so it was not a direct conceptual influence, though an unavoidable dialogue was established. During this residence, the fact of getting to know Lygia Clark’s experiences in psychiatric hospitals, especially working with tiny stones, and having the opportunity to attend conferences by Brazilian curators that shared a bit of those experiences from the 60’s in Brazil, definitely potentiated the elements explored in this piece.
Concept and Production by Rui Gato during artistic residency, Red Bull House of Art São Paulo