My ears are becoming accustomed to this building. I can hear the traffic outside filtering through the windows, sending a slight vibration through the floorboards. I spend my time sitting in different rooms listening. On occasion members of staff have disturbed the otherwise subtle, audible ebb and flow of each space.
In front of me, on the landing between two spaces there’s a green glass jar on the floor, into which I’ve placed two small lavalier microphones. First, i’m reminded of the signature sound of filtering this way – the tone created by the air reverberating around the glass walled space – and then, with time, the specifics of this location and this jar begin to draw me in. I think about this jar, why it was placed here in this particular spot.
I think about how the former owners of this house surrounded themselves with visual art and all kinds of crafted objects and yet were no doubt unaware of the fascinating sounds inside them or on their surfaces. I think too about all the visitors to this now public space and, as is often the case, I find myself wanting to share these discoveries, to pass the headphones to someone and watch their face registering, hopefully, a sense of surprise and pleasure. Then again I like the privacy too, the sense of being enveloped….for now, I’m alone in this space, at this time and so every sound I hear is with me and then replaced by another. I press record to capture something of these particular moments….- Jez Riley French (curator of “V/A – A quiet position . Locale“)
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