observe, 2010







observe, 2010

  • 8 and half feet wide circle shape, hanging five feet from the ceiling
  • May 2010. Sunroom Project Space in the Glyndor Gallery, Wave Hill, Bronx, NY
  • 8-channel surround sound.
    9 minutes and 20 seconds interval.
  • Wood, speaker wire, speakers, marble powder, matte medium, water, Polaroid film, pencil, colored pencil, acrylic color, amplifier, multitrack audio player.
  • — sound info —
    The sound components of observe depict a collection of global locations, selected for the personal and emotional significance that they hold for the artist. Here is more information about the directional and geographic locations depicted from Sunroom Project Space (40.8976°N 73.9124°W).
  • East: Barcelona, Spain
    Date: May 2010
    Sound: recorded noise in downtown Barcelona and the sound of a rooster’s crow.
    Contributed by Felix Pastor, a composer and bassist from Barcelona. His work includes concert music, jazz, and music for art installations and films
  • East: Madrid, Spain
    Date: May 2010
    Sound: a ringing church bell at Aravaca in Madrid
    Contributed by Enrique Moreiro, a fine artist and book illustrator living in Madrid
  • East: Long Island, NY
    Date: May 2010
    Sound: noise from everyday life at the artist’s home in Centereach, Long Island, including birdsong, rain and wind
    Contributed by Takafumi Ide
  • South: Vale Verde, Brazil
    Date: 2008
    Sound: recording of a cicada’s song
    Contributed by Grady Gerbracht, an artist whose cross disciplinary work focuses on the ordering systems of everyday life. His projects employ art, architecture, experimental improvised music, sound and social dynamics to render these systems temporarily visible. His work has been exhibited and published internationally.
  • South West: Heart Bar Wilde Life Area, New Mexico
    Date: April 2010
    Sound: recorded sounds of a walk by the Gala River and by the corral, as well as birdsong, horse whinnying; Heart Bar Wildlife Area, southwestern New Mexico.
    Contributed by Dr. Dawn Chambers, a composer, vocalist, and pianist. Chambers most recently performed “How We Say Goodbye to Our Children,” featuring Native poet Joy Harjo.
  • West: Tokyo, Japan
    Date: September 2009
    Sound: arriving trains and departure bells at the Shinagawa Station in Tokyo, Japan.
    Contributed by Yasuhiro Oikawa, an Associate Professor at the Department of Intermedia Art and Science at Waseda University in Tokyo. He works with acoustics, acoustic engineering, and signal processing.
  • North: Utica, NY
    Date: November 2007
    Sound: a boiler steam whistle and a train
    Contributed by Takafumi Ide
  • North West: Chicago, IL
    Date: November 2009
    Sound: applause (from the television) for the Presidential election
    Contributed by Takafumi Ide

Takafumi Ide activates the Sunroom Project Space at Wave Hill’s Glyndor Gallery with observe, an installation with both sculptural and sound-based elements. For this work, Ide casts the Sunroom as an observatory, conjuring a view of the world that is unconstrained by traditional boundaries of distance and optical ability. Eight narrow strips of wood hang in a circular formation, printed on the inside with tiny photographic images, as well as small areas of drawing and painting. Sets of attached speakers emit unique audio recordings. The image and sound components depict a collection of global locations, selected for the personal and emotional significance they hold for the artist.

Ide uses Polaroid film and emulsion transfer to imprint photographs of the sites on the curved wood. The resulting images have a milky, slightly blurred quality that presents a distant, telescopic view. Each image corresponds to its directional location, as well as to the accompanying sound component. To the east, Barcelona is represented by the striking architecture of one of its famous churches, Sagrada Familia, and to the west, a train station in Tokyo is embodied by the sound of a passing commuter train at the Shinagawa Station. Images and sound sourced from places as varied as Wave Hill, Brazil, Virginia, Chicago, Manhattan and New Mexico are experienced alongside one another. The sounds of each site blend into one multi-layered, dimensional composition. Together, these visual and audio depictions combine to create an observatory for the visitor to view the world as seen through Ide’s eyes.

Text by Leigh Ross, Assistant Curator, the Sunroom Project Space at Wave Hill’s Glyndor Gallery, May 2010