black ⊇ schwarz: Spatio-Temporal Composition with Mirjam Dorsch

[installation::Konsumeverein, Braunschweig, Germany @ 5×2 Klangkunst exhibition::2010::with Mirjam Dorsch]

The spatial sound, or the site-specific sound can be hardly obtained when only rely on traditional stereo set up. As soon as one adds more, even just one more loudspeaker in the space, suddenly everything changes. I mean, E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Who said sound has to be perceived like images? But strangely, or not strangely at all when considering how awfully visually orientated society are we living in, more than often times we do perceive sounds just like images: frontal, central, and unidirectional. Anyway, sounds has this extreme advantage as an art making material: it can be everywhere at the same time, it can move in the space freely, people can easily go into the sound field and also freely move inside. To get one hundred per cent out of these advantages, the use of multi-channels setting seems to be absolutely necessary. With all these ideas and excitement, I started to make some experiments and tests in my studio with different equipment that I could get my hands on, and the opportunity to realize a big scale installation came to me. “5×2 Klangkunst” was a 5 months long run exhibition program inviting five couples of artists working together to realize sound art piece.
I joined with Mirjam Dorsch, who is visual artist but has excellent sensibility on spatial arrangement with her minimalist sculptures. [ black is a superset of schwarz ] is ten channels sound installation that is to be experienced in a completely dark, a room-inside-room space. The space is enclosed by industrial plastic covers mounted on six walls structure. There is no light at all inside, but four sub woofers, five middle range loudspeakers, one high range twitter and four electric fans. The four sub woofers are mounted behind walls embracing the whole space and they diffuse smoothly panning sounds in circular way between the four channels. Other six loudspeakers are mounted in the boxes that has the same shape as the ground plan of the space (and we can not see them!) diffusing randomly triggered sounds that interact between each other. The fans are placed at regular distances in the space. I hoped that the air waves produced by fans doing something to the movement of sound waves, and I felt like it worked, but no way to prove it to myself. But later, the audiences liked very much the gentle air touching their skins in the dark, so, it’s all good anyway. When people come into the space, normally it takes 3 to 5 minutes for their eyes to get used to the darkness. Then people regain their ability to have visual orientation and start to recognize diverse things in their visual field, even tough things look like just some dark silhouettes. The same process goes for the ears now. People start to recognize the three dimensional sounds and they try to orient themselves by measuring the distances between sounds and the self. But as soon as they try, the efforts surprisingly fails because the sounds are constantly moving and creating different interactions between them. The main idea of the whole thing was to make some kind of conceptual connection between seeing and hearing, and that just becomes obvious from the fact that I was working with a visual artist who bravely decided to show everything in the dark(!).

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