YOU ARE STANDING IN A ROOM
project commissioned for
Let's Stay in Touch: rhythm of relations
curated by Johanna Hardt
a three part project consisting of an event at The Glove That Fits, an exhibition at Enclave Lab, part of ArtLicks Weekend, and a publication.
19th September - 8th October 2018
Experiment (The Glove That Fits):
5 participants, dark room, stereo speakers, disembodied voice questionnaire, 5 sound clips, oximeter measuring heartbeat rate / blood pressure, sound and video recording.
Exhibition (Enclave Lab):
dark room, video projection and stereo speakers; sound clips interposed with participants' answers, motion graphs results with heartbeat rates and images.
interview conducted by Johanna Hardt to Sara Rodrigues, experiment results with graphs and descriptive answers.
‘You Are Standing in a Room’ takes its name from the piece ‘I Am Sitting in a Room’, where Alvin Lucier explores the natural resonant frequencies of a room by recording his voice and feeding it back into the room, re-recording again and again until his speech is destroyed. Playing with auditory perception, ‘You Are Standing in a Room’ inverts the perspective of the listener by putting her/himself as the central figure; standing in a room, in the dark. The recordings that are played are not re-recorded but are played over and over again as each new person enters in the room by themselves. The interest lies not necessarily in understanding how sound functions in those particular acoustics but in how each person has a different auditory perception, based on their own experiences and memories of various previous environments, questioning how we relate to sound when taken out of context.
The attention is then centred on the room not so much for its resonant properties but for exactly the properties that it does not have, for the space it never occupied. The various recordings that are played are taken from distinct environments, which the listener may or may not have come across, with its various degrees of attention or disregard for particular sound sources. The focus is then on the fact that each person is in this room, in this club, in this area, in this metropolitan city, which invalidates the possibility of being somewhere else in that space and time, leading us to the question: who are these people and who is hearing what?
Communication through sound is one of our primary assets as human beings, but most other creatures on earth also rely on this sense to survive. We have developed to construct complex patterns and beats, but our connection with the sounds around us seem to have faded away, or become homogenised and inundated with those of modernisation; transportation, industry, construction. In order to access our current state of being, the experiment questions if what is about to be heard has indeed been marginalised, hidden, or even destroyed, without anyone out there to listen.