reverberate, 2007-2009

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reverberate, 2007-2009

  • 78″ x 100″ x 20″
  • Created during a residency at Sculpture Space, Utica, NY and funded in part by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and New York State Council on the Arts.
  • April 2008. SAC Art Gallery, Stony Brook, NY
  • 3-channel interval sound.
    Approximately 70 seconds interval.
  • 12V halogen light, 3-channel interval sound, CD players, custom electronics, metal, plexi, subwoofer speakers, water, wire.
  • — sound info —
    sound source: artist’s video library in 2002 and 2005

reverberate is based on notions of how someone’s voice leaves ripples across the lives of others. The work was inspired by my personal memory of my grandmother who passed in 2008. Since then, her voice repeats in my head and touches my heart. To reflect this emotional event in my work, I looked to my video library to find my grandmother’s voice. I digitally emphasized her voice saying certain phrases, which touched me by cutting the mid to high frequencies. I use subwoofer speakers in order to create the physical movement of the speaker cone activated by the low frequency. The noise created by the low frequency sound is out of the normal range of human hearing.

For the installation, I created three identical structures. Each includes a subwoofer speaker placed at the height of my upraised arm, and a long fishing string, which attaches to the center of each speaker cone. At the end of the string, a fishing sinker lightly balances on the surface of a 1″ shallow tank of water. The water tank has the dimensions of an X-ray radiographic film size. The sound creates a reverberation that transfers from the speaker cone to the sinker. As the result of the movement, ripples spread on the water surface. Beneath the transparent floor of the tank, a 12 Volts Halogen lamp projects light and delicate shadows of ripples onto the gallery wall.

When the viewer sees the subwoofers but hear no sound, he or she has an experience of absence. Audiences may only see the ripple but may not connect it to my grandmother’s voice, because of the personal privilege of my hearing of it. The ripple can only suggest the reverberating influence of family interaction.

Text by Takafumi Ide, December 2009 (edited in 2010)