Member 63
25 entries

Contributor to project:
Design Media Arts at UCLA
Kelly Chen (F, 35)
Los Angeles, US
Immortal since Mar 29, 2007
Uplinks: 0, Generation 1

Loud Mouth | Kelly Chen
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    Design Media Arts at UCLA
    In the 1970s space colonies were considered to be a viable alternative to a life restricted to planet Earth. The design of cylindrical space...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    I've been particularly fascinated by the works of Bill Fontana, in which his approach to sound is that where he brings to the forefront patterns from our natural environments that we otherwise would never have paid any attention to. Because we tend to only consciously listen to those sounds with meaning (i.e. language and music), the rest of what we hear is generally considered meaningless "noise." His works concern themselves with treating the "urban and natural environment as a living source of musical information."

    The following links are some of my personal favorites from his portfolio (descriptions are taken from his website):

    Landscape Soundings, Vienna, 1990
    LANDSCAPE SOUNDINGS, was commisssioned by the Vienna Festival, in cooperation with the Austrian State Radio Company and the Kunsthistorisches and Naturhistorisches Museums.

    This was a large-scale sculptural installation realized in the plaza situated between the Kunsthistorisches and Naturhistorisches museums in the center of Vienna. It translated the architectural theme of art and nature represented by the parallel facing museums into an acoustic transformation of this formal urban garden by overlaying the sensuous live sounds of an existing ancient Danube wetland.

    Sound Island, Paris, 1994

    "Sound Island" was installed at the Arc de Triomphe, in which the live sound of the sea from Normandy was broadcast to 48 loudspeakers hidden on the facade of the monument, creating the illusion that the cars circling the place de l'Etoile were silent. The Arc de Triomphe is an island at the center of an immense traffic circle. It is an urban architectural island not because it is surrounded by water, but by a sea of cars. The constant flow of hundreds of encircling cars are the dominant visual and aural experience one has when standing under the towering monument, looking out at Paris. This sound sculpture explored the transformation of the visual and aural experience of traffic. Live natural white sounds of the sea from the Normandy coast were transmitted to loudspeakers installed on the facade of the monument. The presence of the breaking and crashing waves created the illusion that the cars were silent. This was accomplished in contradiction to the visual aspects of the situation. The sound of the sea is natural white sound, and has the psycho-acoustic ability to mask other sounds, not by virtue of being louder, but because of the sheer harmonic complexity of the sea sound.

    Pigeon Soundings, 2005

    Since the end of World War II, the church of St. kolumba has been a ruin, inhabited by thousands of pigeons. "Pigeon Soundings" is an 8 channel sound map of the acoustic life and movements of these pigeons in St. Kolumba; where they nest along the top of the west wall, and fly back and forth across a large rectangular open gap, to the top of a parallel roof surface, that diagonally slants downward across the remainder of the ruin.

    This sound map is an 8 channel real time recording of the movements and voices of pigeons in the ruin. Eight microphones were mounted in two parallel groups of four that were placed along the two sides of the rectangular space. The resulting recordings mapped out the movements and overlapping sound fields of the pigeons behavior and flights within the space.

    In the future, when the new museum is built, it will no longer be a nesting site for pigeons. These 8 channel recordings will be played from a sculptural installation of 8 loudspeakers that are placed in the same spatial positions as the microphones, becoming an acoustic evocation of this 50 year period in between being a functioning church and a museum for the next century.

    This ruin being taken over by pigeons may at first give the impression of decay and death. It is certainly nature's way of reclaiming what had gone out human control. In this 50 year span of pigeons sounding in the ruin, many timeless generations of pigeons came and went. In this passage of nameless birds, the space was returned to a pure state of timelessness, where all of its soundings were supposed to be unheard. These pigeon soundings became the space dreaming to itself, returning to a primal state that lay in the realm of new beginnings.
    Sun, May 20, 2007  Permanent link
    Categories: video, sound, artists
    Sent to project: Design Media Arts at UCLA
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