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LCC Tower Block, corner unit
Site-specific performance that
took place in room T1101 at the 11th floor of London College of Communication's Tower Block in Elephant and Castle, London, UK.
Sound is invisible to us during its travel through the air. It exposes itself when it trespasses a border, the border itself allows us to detect its shape and the way it translates from one state to another. Vibrations of surfaces as borders are sound, what happens in between is unknown. Is like the border of a country, to have the control of its content you have to have a control on its limits, to know what is crossing it you to signal its passage. But the way the signal is produced really depends on both sides: it is important to set a rule between the two sides. If we think more mechanically about the vibration of a curtain, or an ear-drum, the only way it can vibrate is to move between the two sides, so that one can invade at moments and be invaded alternatively. The wider this reciprocal invasion is, the loudest will be its sound on both sides, like the cone of a speaker.
The performance is a result of the reflection on the properties of sound as a vibration through different means in space and on the different ways that materials respond to vibrations and how we perceive this diversity.
The origin and the end of a sound are very difficult to identify in the physical world. They are two extremes that get lost in our incapacity to define the matter in its complexity. Sound travels through matters and what we call hearing and listening are just moments of the vibrational continuum of reality.
Through this performance I tried to expose the travel of sound through different means and I created a connection between sounds created inside the room and sound produced by the outer city, that could penetrate through the windows.
The three performers in this way could use the devices inside the room not only to improvise between themselves, but with the traffic of Elephant and Castle too.
The room represents the head, its windows are like pupils and the inner walls are like the retinal surface
where the outside world his imprinted. The curtains are like eardrums and they are move by the wind as our ear is excited by change in air pressure. The artificial border of the room that separates its inhabitants from the outside is therefore the filter through which we can identify that outer reality, name it and also relate to it.
Through the activation of the borders of the room I therefore created a space for a sonic inter-exchange between these two realities.
The disposition of desks and chairs inside the classroom was resembling a normal setting, but it was arranged in order for the audience to have a view of the two windowed sides of the room and to allow the three performers to move around. Two desks had lamps and were used by performers as instruments, one had a contact microphone and captured sounds of writing while the other one could be put in vibration through a controller on an iPad.
The project started accompanying a group of visitors to the 11th floor of the tower block where a classroom facing north-west has been prepared for the performance. Hidden speakers and surface transducers were used to amplify sounds from folded desks on the sides of the room, a speaker cone was used to move a curtain in response to the sounds and a low frequency transducer was applied under a desk to make it tremble.
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