2018 負育群帶聚落 Collective Negative Space Village
Wan-Shuen Tsai and I have been invited to collaborate in a rather big-scale event, at KONG ZONG 空總.
This is an odd place. A former military base in the core of Taipei city under a transformation process into… who knows ?
Eric Chen, architect (ArchiBlur Lab), led a team of curators, designers, artists, researchers under the moniker Collective Negative Space Village.
At first, I was interested by doing an extensive field recording work in this area. But the sounds of the traffic being very present, the interesting listening experience had to happen in the basements or in the resonant ruins. The only huge problem was the lack of a decent listening space or system for playing those sounds to the visitors – I found the use of headphone in a “collective” space rather annoying. Therefore our participations was in different steps : writing essays about what could be a sonic/listening platform in Kong-Zong, a short scale collaboration with construction team for experimenting with acoustic materials, an in-site intervention and the inclusion of my work in Beitou as an example of installed sound documentary…
The whole project spread during several months with a lot of meeting, interventions, discussions and finally a rather impressive collection of publications.
Interesting development… During my presentations, I did not get any feedback about the idea of a mid/long term project related to a sonic platform in Kon-Zong. But a few months later I heard about some project of collaboration with IRCAM (France) to create a soundlab… Wait and see…
Below is a trace of a little sound intervention I did during one of these busy days.
17.11.2018 空總走廊 Following the seminal masterpiece of Alvin Lucier, “I am sitting in a room” (1969), already re-enacted by several sound artists such as Cédric Peyronnet or Jacob Kirkegaard, I proposed a little experience in a corridor of a former military base in Taipei, Taiwan. While construction/designers teams were working inside the building and in the surroundings, I recorded during 10 minutes the sounds of their work, transformed by this reverberating space. Then I re-injected the recording in it through loudspeakers set up at each extremities of the corridor. The microphones being at the middle, it was capturing again the environmental sounds transformed again by the acoustic space. Repeating the process 8 times, at the end, I obtained this rather abstract sonic texture, barely recognizable, revealing the resonant frequencies of the corridor and their harmonics. The result was presented in the same corridor, today, during the opening of the exhibition “負育群帶聚落-實驗建築發表 Experimental Architecture Open House” part of the project “負育群帶聚落 Collective Negative Space Village”. My contribution to this project has been repeatedly to request a hardware ( = a physical space with equipment) and software ( = hosting activities, commissions, workshops, online projects) platform for sound cultures and listening practices. Such a physical space with designed acoustics, where collective listening sessions could happen in decent conditions still doesn’t exist here. Over the 10 last years, I ran numerous events (listening sessions and workshops), carrying my loudspeakers in resonant classrooms, unadapted theatres or galleries a bit everywhere in the country. This little experience today can be considered as a demonstration of how architecture is part of the acoustic process, how the physical specificity of the buildings contributes, and often in a undesired way, to our listening experience.