Contextualisation and Placement for Sound Mind.

Considering placement of work is a very valuable part of the art process. The placement of my work is more than material, space, light, and allocation, the placement of my work can add to the content of social, religious, psychological, technological advancements, historical and political value. When I decided on the placement of Sound Mind, things I considered where is the piece/place/site specific, am I demonstrating political views, is it socially interactive, historic, performance, informative, immersive, how best will I demonstrate and retain the conceptual part of the piece. In researching into other artists with similar conceptualization to mine, it has helped inform my practice. In the development of Sound Mind I have found that most of my influences have been new science and technological discoveries, so there has been little conceptual content with most of the works that are similar to mine. One of the most influential artist for me has been Lisa Parks and her piece Eunoia II. She describes that emotion has energy and waves and that it is corresponding with our emotional states. Because of the complicated technical requirements needed to achieve this work, she has created an audio and visual representation of herself. Click here for more info on her work. Another piece of work which has been informative to me is Science vs Music by Nigel Stanford, he mainly uses science to inform his work and does not call himself an artist, so it has been difficult to find any information on his conceptual content. In this work, he demonstrates how sound has the ability to become visual using many different forms of material and matter, such as oil, water, electricity, and fire. He has delivered his work via a film and audio piece but the musical content is just music that does not contain any conceptual idea, other than it is a very well put together piece of music, that compliments the visual content beautifully. Click here to see video. I have made brief contact with Nigel Stanford because a friend of mine was producing his album for him, I discovered he developed the New Zealand and Australian version of Ebay and sold the company which made him a very wealthy young man and he now dedicates his life to his passion of making music and films, click here for his website. He is successful at this and has a very successful watch rate on his videos in the millions. I came across works that was informed by new scientific discovery but was delivered by an artist called Anne Niemetz the work is The Dark Side of the Cell it is an audio-visual event bringing to the audience’s attention the new discovery of nanotechnology, being that cells actually have sonic content, click here to listen to the audio of human cells. The most interesting part of this work for me was the actually delivery of the sound. They had 20 speakers installed, the spatial distribution of the sound, to create a linear progression, the piece had a narrative content in there is a beginning and end very much like life itself. After looking at this work I realized that the placement of the sound was of very integral part of the concept of Sound Mind.

The main concept of my work throughout my study has been the synthesis of space and form generated by sound. I am particularly interested in the architecture of the sound and how sound effects the structure of matter and the being and how sound can alter the state of mind. My work is influenced by sound so this is an integral part of Sound Mind and even though I initually thought my main concept was making the visual be of importance it has turned out to be the sound. I will be surrounded the viewer with sound sourced and designed using the brain frequencies data.  Max Matthews , Brian Eno and Daphne Oram have been of influence to me in that they all use data to create their musical compositions and sounds. in the journal lab times, I came across Musical Biology, turning data into sound, it states that the rise of visual thinking began in 1977 when John W. Turkey published, The Future of Data Analysis, during this time music and science developed along a parallel. In 1992 Fernando Baquero, was researching the emergence and evolution of antibiotic resistance, Aurora Sanchez began working with him, she was a microbiologist and musician, Aurora spoke of turning DNA into music scores,but this work was stopped. Aurora contacted a composer Richard Krull about her idea and the end result was a 10 track CD called Genome. This is a technique that is being used a lot within science now where they are sonifying data. This process is something that has been very prenet throughout my work, and has been used within Sound Mind being that I have sonified the brainwave data.  

I did originally want to deliver my piece as a live performance, which would have been the Brain-Computer Interface transposing my brain waves using various software programs and converting them into sound files. I thought about why I would do this live and could not come up with a reason that it would add conceptual value to my piece, would it matter if it was recorded? Being that the main conceptual aspect is the viewer being emersed in the sound and the quality of the sound I decided I would focus on this concept and I would present my work as an audible-visual representation being me as the start point.

Sound Mind needs to immerse the audience into the visual and sound. The sound needs to penetrate the audiences cellular structure. I have been working through the process of how I am going to deliver the sound without affecting all other degree show pieces close by. If I was to use headphones, which is what many artists do when sound is involved in a piece of work, it would remove the main concept of the work, being that the sound is what affects us and our environment on a cellular level. At first, my initial thought was to present only sound and light, this could be done within a sound booth, so I began working on some sketches of booth and pricing this up.

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unfortunately with the size of this sound dome being 5m x 5m. the cost of materials was coming it at just under £1000 so I have decided on presenting my piece using something more affordable, that being a film.

I have kindly been given a store cupboard that I can use to immerse my audience in the sound and visual. I will be using a large screen and a surround sound system to present my work. The film and sound have been designed in 6.51min section that can play on a loop. As per the sketch the base bin has been placed in the viewer’s seat, whilst setting up speakers I realized I would have to place the base bin upwards so that the viewer has the full effect of the base frequency throughout their body.

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I did plan to display one of my ceramic spheres outside the room so that the audience can transpose their energy into the material of the clay, developing a lasting loop of resonance, but one of the tutors advised me that it would be too messy and take the focus from the main body of work. Not having this piece has reduced my concept that emotions affect matter, but I also feel that it would take the focus from Sound Mind, so have decided to not include.

I wanted my exhibition space to be mat black. The concept behind this decision is that black absords all colours of the spectrum and does not bounce it back into the human eye. Making the film the main point of focus. Also because colours have a wavelength content, black has no wavelength and white has all wavelengths. I was told by tutor if I painted the room black I had to restore it to its previous state, I was also told if I painted the floor I would have to use a concrete buffer to return floor to the previous state. I had a rethink on the colour and decided and decided I would work in unison with the area so I took a screen shot of the concrete wall using Pantone.

I made a visit to a specialist paint shop because I had to paint floor, walls, and multi-surface with the same colour. I had the paints mixed to match the concrete wall, but then after I was told I could not paint the floor without restoring I painted the room white, again rather a compromise on my work but I am working within boundaries given. I am aware that this kind of thing will happen when setting up an exhibition in any locations and venues, and I am aware of being sympathetic whilst still trying to retain the contextualization of the work.

Finally, the exhibition and room are complete but whilst doing sound checks I am getting complaints from the office opposite. The room is also experiencing an automatic light that keeps coming on which is detrimental to my work. I have informed all the people I need to and I am hoping by the exhibition date this problem will be solved.

I have had to make many sacrifices in regards to the contextualization of my work due to external restrictions, but a very frustrating situation is that the Uni does not have the resources to support 5.1 surround sound presentation. I have explained above in this post why 5.1 is informative to the conceptual value of this work, so I worked out how to present my work in true 5.1 by using a computer and another set of speakers, but this would require the people setting up a very complicated process and it might end up that no one can work the technology so my work does not get viewed. I decided to master the DVD at Bang Productions and I also set up a professional space that is a cinema with true 5.1 to present my piece but this has been refused by tutors due to their busy schedules.

The final piece – ENJOY