Tue 27th Nov 2pm (i.e. day 9, oops): I didn’t come in over the weekend at all – worked another job all day Saturday (day 6) and really needed a day off on Sunday (day 7). I hate not using this space for every possible moment I have it but it couldn’t be helped. So I’m just writing about Monday, day 8.
So all day on Monday this truck was right outside my studio collecting non-hazardous waste. It was quite incredibly difficult to work.
Actually I was here for ages but I only did about 1 1/2 hours of work, just collecting, storing and photographing the species samples for 2 of the 3 circle garden beds I talked about in a previous post. I felt terrible doing so little. I think I was still recovering from the 16.5 hour workday on Saturday.
But I did want to report that I met some interesting folks at Andrea Rassell’s exhibition opening on Friday evening after I finished my blogpost. I had my studio open and 2 people came in to see what was happening and we had interesting convos, and Andrea also introduced me to a friend of hers as she thought we might be interested in each others work. We are!
About Andrea’s friend: Sophie is a sound essayist, which means … ok it’s harder to find a quick definition than I thought! I think I have 2 friends who I can ask. In the meantime, if you know or find anything illuminating about that, post a comment!
Anyway, Sophie’s currently doing her PhD and has done a project where she recorded the sounds of herself building things with food scraps! She’s also done a project where she created written descriptions of certain sounds. That fascinates me because I just find translation endlessly fascinating. It makes me wonder how people who can’t hearing the original sounds – maybe they don’t have any speakers; maybe they’re deaf or hearing impaired – would interpret the descriptions.
Then Michael came in to see what I was up to. He’s a Bio-molecular modeller who works at CSIRO. When I described my project to him he said what he imagined was a sort-of interactive aural augmented reality thing: you put on this pair of binaural ++ headphones and walk through Testing Grounds and as you look at/pass each plant type, the sound that I’ve allocated to that plant type plays. How cool is that?
It’s pretty closely related to some of the ecoacoustics arts stuff folks like Leah Barclay are doing – check her stuff out here. And there’s this project called Biosphere Soundscapes where you can hear live-feeds of UNESCO biosphere reserves from around the world. And then you can get this app where you can live-stream the sound of any microphone that’s been set up anywhere around the world by any community member, which is just so open-source and awesome! I can’t quite remember the name of the app or find a link without going into a research vortex, but I’ll post it when I find it.
Anyway I love what Michael imagined even though it’s totally beyond the scope of a) my project and b) possibly current technology.
Lastly I met Carly who’s doing her PhD in film and archival documenting. We chatted about her work where she’s figuring out how to present multiple media (footage, photos, documents, etc) of an institution in Tasmania that no longer exists. Her suggestion for my work was about who performs it: as soon as she heard my idea she assumed audience would be participating in the performance. She imagined them being given, for example, 1 plant species to play and a corresponding sound-maker, and augmenting the musician’s parts.