Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"I want to live where soul meets body" -Death Cab For Cutie

Hello All,
As this is where all of my works in progress come to live (and sometimes die), I would like to welcome a new work in progress to the family: Contain and Retain.

Contain and Retain is a piece about connections between the body and soul. Sound is used as a tool to transcend the frame of the body and echo throughout the soul. The soul, however, is also a frame. Though usually in a transformative state, the soul is possible to catch (if you're quick on your feet) which is why soul sound is framed in a similar vessel that that of body sound.

Both entities are constantly changing which is why I intend to make many more sound journeys to travel and weave themselves in and out of these frames. It is up to the viewer to determine which one is "contain" and which is "retain". (I won't tell you what I think, but please leave me a comment telling me which you think is which!)

{These photos were taken before the vessels were fired}

I started out writing pages of note, and trying to create diagrams for how to pass sound from one ear to the other, making it seem as though sound was weaving through the mind rather than simply playing out of two unrelated ear phones. Sound, after all, consists of waves, and waves have the ability to mesh and interact. Think about being at a carnival. You hear the voices of children, popcorn popping, roller coasters clicking as they inch up the track, and cheerful music blaring over a loud speaker. Our brains allow us to pick out each of these sounds individually, but if you relax your mind and just allow the sound to blend, it is one sound coming together through different waves of sound.
In order to create "Contain and Retain" I first experimented with passing the sound from ear to ear, as opposed to from one vessel to another as in the final piece. Originally the final piece was also going to be made for headphones, hence the promo below. But it sort of took on a life of its own. Don't you love when that happens? [Ps. as usual, you will need headphones!]


First Experiment:

After doing this experiment I began to wonder about the properties of sound. It started to make sense to me how sound is so easily manipulated by the mind. The mind is attached to the ears, after all. I wondered: how can I manipulate sound outside of the body, or in fact transcend the capacities of the body. And so "Contain and Retain" was born. I researched the physics of sound and echo, and used the materials themselves to manipulate the sound. In other words, the structure of the body sculpture produces a muffled, subdued sound, whereas the structure of the soul creates an ethereal echo. The two play in time with each other, bonding them as a single piece. However, both their shape and sound quality are tremendously different. I will try to get a video of the interaction, because the sound alone won't do it justice. But here it is anyways:


There are actually two pieces, one after the other. The idea is that I could keep adding more pieces as my perception of body and soul and their relationship, changes over time.

I hope you enjoyed. Sorry about the total failure of regular blog posting this semester, but now that it's summer check back in for more!

If you made it through this entire post, I am quite impressed and even more flattered!
Again, questions, feedback, and ideas are greatly appreciated!