As we enter the final weeks of preparation for the show, a picture is beginning to emerge of the works I am producing.
My contribution will be two separate, related installation pieces. Both are a response to the milieu of the space, and to the fact that Jaaga is moving.
One piece a personal response, the other a community response. One is anchored, deep, singular; the other plural, free, ephemeral. The works will run together and combine to express different emotional responses to the space.
The first piece is the piece inspired by the Seagram Murals. It is an audio-visual piece for the ground floor.
The visual aspect consists of video projected onto a triptych of custom-made panels. The video is based on experiments with light - particularly, sketches I created using a scanner and a few basic materials (see images, right). The audio aspect works alongside the video, and is based on field-recorded and synthesized sounds, combined in simple measure, abstract in nature.
As I discussed in this previous post, the piece is an attempt to make a space for reflection - a place where time stands still for a moment. For this reason I'm working with variations on basic patterns - blends, torn lines, scrapes, which expose themselves very slowly over time. I am trying to create power from the simplicity of these forms - constantly I am thinking of weight, strength, and power. I am not trying to emulate the Seagram's, rather to work with some of these elements that they expose.
The second piece is a 3D-sound piece, and will be heard on the various speakers dotted across the Jaaga space. This piece has become a counterpoint to the Gravity piece, and is best described by it's evolution.
First, I developed the method. I looked into different 3D sound design approaches and eventually came up with a custom approach, and built it in Cosm. On a side note, I've been in touch with the author of this software, Graham Wakefield. He is including examples of the method in the next release of Cosm, and writing about it in a paper for this year's ICMC.
I had considered using this method as an integrated part of the Gravity installation. But as the Gravity piece developed, it went strongly in a particular direction. It was singular, weighty, personal - I knew it needed a counterpoint. The speakers in the rest of the building could be used in a way that is free, unconstrained by one location or time.
At the same time, I had a powerful sense that Jaaga is such a communal space, I wanted some way of giving expression to the feelings of the community. I wanted space for them to share their feelings on what Jaaga is, was and has become. From here, the second piece became about Reflections.
This is a perfect moment for reflection, and today I approached video artist Clemence Barret, who is running a video workshop in the space. We agreed to work collaboratively to capture dialog from the people who have been at Jaaga the longest. The conversations we capture will in any case be a nice piece for the archive, and for future works. But the sound of this dialog will feed directly into the Reflections piece.
As with Gravity, I want Reflections to focus somehow on the primary, the abstract, the emotional nuances. The captured conversations will exist as records in their own right, but the memories of so many people can exist as fragments in this soundwork - roaming freely, injecting emotion and values into the space, and filling the gaps between the steel uprights of Jaaga.
The work continues on both pieces.