SISE – Group Project Meeting 1

Production Journal

Todays meeting was a chance for our group to share ideas that we can build on to create our group SISE project in a few weeks time. We shared some of our recent ideas that have been generated from our individual tasks and from past work. Isla showed us a series of images she had created of tower blocks in London and we discussed using this a a theme for our project. We discussed the different types of people who might live in these places and how this could have an impact on our finished piece.

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Taking my inspiration from Bill Fontana I was interested in exploring the Avonmouth road bridge and the effect it has on the lives of the people who live directly around it in terms of light and sound, I’ve often driven underneath it and can’t imagine how it might impact on the quality of life (if at all)

Avonmouth Bridge

From discussing our ideas we seem to have a related theme that we could focus on and it’s related to both often obtrusive architecture and the people who surround or rely on it.

Taking our ideas to Kathy and Amanda they pointed us in the direction of a few professional artists who have taken on similar work. Tom Hunter who photographed residents of a tower block in Hackney, London before it was demolished in 1997. His work was displayed at the Saatchi gallery and is a great example of typology photography where collections of photographs are taken with related forms.

Holly Street Residents Series – Tom Hunter 1997

Another artist who we could look to for inspiration in this project is Andrea Gursky who’s image Paris, Montparnasse, 1993 is an amazing example of large scale photograpphy capturing the modern world in amazing detail.

I like the idea of taking an image of a tall building from an elevated position like the Gursky image. I think this angle which would not normally be seen as we are normally looking up at tall buildings will make for a more engaging image.

To capture sound for our project I was particularly interested in using contact microphones to capture sound that would not normally be heard in day to day life. I want to maybe make the building feel like it’s alive by capturing the sound generated from the walls of the building itself. We discussed also how we could focus on the sound of the buildings inhabitants as the images move across the buildings exterior.

Next Steps

Our next steps will be to arrange to find a suitable location and take some test recordings and images which we can use to help plan out our project.

 

 

 

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Research Sound Sculpter – Bill Fontana

Bill Fontana, initially a composer but I think his recent work ties in with the work we have been concentrating on in our SISE project in terms of creating a sense of place. Fontana became interested in exploring how every day acoustics of the world can become musical. He has recorded a number of sound portraits around the world. Fontana presented the installation ‘Vertical Water’ in New Yorks Whitney museum in 1991, this sculpture involved the use of sound taken from Niagara falls played through speakers placed in the concrete facade of the museum Different frequencies were played from different speakers placed around the wall. The sound of the falls created an effect that masked out the general sound of the street.

“ Fontana’s sound environments renew our awareness of the places we inhabit and the
powerful role sound plays in both our sense of self and memory. Fontana’s work is
predicated on a sophisticated investigation into how we perceive sounds in the world.
He has created a series of compelling projects that subtly treat the interplay between the
origins of sounds and the contexts in which we perceive them, causing the viewer to
become conscious of himself and his senses as he hears and perceives anew the world he
inhabits”
John Hanhardt, Guggenheim Museum

This is the most inspirational soundscape for me so far by Bill Fontana of San Franciscos Golden Gate Bridge.  I was thinking of using bridges in my project an I think it would be really interesting to create something like this and relate it to images of the bridge.

The images put the audience at the location and we can relate to the sounds but without them (and with them to a point) the sounds are very unnerving especially the sound of the fog horn which also reminds me of the communication between the spaceship and scientists in Steven Spielberg’s ‘Close Encounters’ movie from  1977