This installation was created in the Queen's Powder Magazine on Goat Island, a nature reserve in Sydney Bay. The building is an enormous former munitions warehouse with very thick sandstone walls and an arched roof, built around 100 years ago.
Two sets of scaffolding at each end of the space held speakers bouncing the sound off the arch, source was a single PZM microphone situated around head height half way along one side wall. A nearby boatyard on the island contributed metallic crashes and grinding noises which inspired the system to respond, not always predictably.
This particular Listening Room presented two specific problems:
Scale - a combination of scale and volume of the building and the available permutations of positioning the system was slightly too large to enable the presence of human bodies in the space to modulate the feedback notes - this did not prevent visitors becoming part of the experience by making noise - footsteps, speaking or singing.
Damp - heavy overnight rain tended to soak into the sandstone fabric of the building causing extremely high humidity first thing in the mornings. This made the system over-sensitive causing a very high level of feedback for the first hour or so until the building warmed up in the daytime sunshine and the system stabilised. (usually by the time it was open to the public).
|Additional Information (Publicly available):|
Activated Space is David Cunningham's project to develop and present a series of installations that alter an architectural space in real time to allow its resonant frequencies to become audible and interactive. The project combines elements from sculpture, electronic media, music, architecture and acoustics.
|Related Exhibitions:||A piano in a gallery, Carter Presents, London July - August 2006, The Listening Room, Camden Arts Centre June - July 2005, Exterior, Architectural Association, London April - May 2005, Interior, Kanazawa October 2004, The Listening Room, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham September - November 2003, Listening to the Architecture, Clerkenwell Magistrates' Court, London August 2003, The Listening Room and Stairwell (untitled), ICC, Tokyo July - September 2003, Where a straight line meets a curve (with Karen Mirza and Brad Butler) March 2003, A position between two curves, Tate Britain, London February - May 2003, The Listening Room, The Connecting Principle, Newcastle October 2002, Listening to the Architecture, Helsinki February 2001, Open Square, Copenhagen June 1997, The Listening Room, Chisenhale Gallery, London September 1994|