Metahistory : "Taipei 2030"

Metahistory : “Taipei 2030”

“Taipei 2030” was composed in 2009, a humble field-recording based speculation about the evolution of urban sonic environment.

歷史變體 Metahistory
展期 Dates|2018.07.21 – 2018.09.23
主辦單位 Organizer|TKG+ Projects
策展人 Curator|馮 馨 FENG Hsin
參展藝術家 Participating Artists
區秀詒 AU Sow-Yee / 澎葉生 Yannick DAUBY / 饒加恩 JAO Chia-En / 劉致宏 LIU Chihhung / 鄧兆旻 TENG Chao-Ming

Artistic process is inscribed in time, the historical aspect of the practice and the personal background of the creator. More specifically sound works require from the audience a fragment of their attention during a while, in order to experience the artwork from the physicality of acoustic waves. Sound works based on field recording are inscribed in the present of the recordist’s experience, and later to be transmitted as a document, a trace of an event or a place.

These platitudes are useful to put back the sound work “Taipei 2030” into its context.
I have been working with sound recording since 1998, but only in 2007 I permanently settled in Taiwan, in the Taipei basin. As a sound recordist, I naturally produced a series of works related to this urban area and its surroundings. Interestingly, the 7 or 8 pieces I created there are reflecting my own ability to perceive and inhabit this place. From a completely abstract perspective in my very first temporary visits, the ears being surprised by the variety and textures of the sounds, to the first explorations in 2008-2011, to the more recent audio documentary approach, with interactions with locals inhabitants, especially through interviews in a language that I progressively try to learn (and, well, it’s an on-going process…).

In 2010, I was invited by The Positive Soundscape, an event and project curated by Peter Cusack, in Leeds, UK. Their request was to imagine the place were I was living, twenty years later.
So, at that time, almost 10 years ago, I wasn’t projecting myself in a close future, but I was trying to imagine how did the general sound of the city evolve from its expansion and huge change caused by the industrialisation of the 1970’s. I was thinking that maybe in the 1990’s most of the sounds that we can hear nowadays were already present. And that between 1990 and 2010, the general soundscape didn’t change so much, but I still need to get feedback from habitants of Taipei about such statement.

“Taipei 2030” is a sound work based on the sounds recorded in 2010. This piece is extrapolating about the sounds that maybe will continue to exist in the future, such as at the sellers voices from the traditional market. It also retraces a kind of anxiety about the climate change that can be felt, perceptible the omnipresent sounds of air conditioning systems. I would like to finish this introduction with a surprising anecdote I encountered during the recording process of this work : in the Botanical Gardens of Taipei, I recorded a woman in her 60’s, explaining to her grand-child, the names of different vegetables that were exhibited as a demonstration of gardening. Going to a botanical garden, a kind of open-air museum for plants, for explaining to a child how do tomatoes and egg-plants grow, isn’t a sign of dramatic change in our relation to habitat ?