David Cunningham - A position between two curves
  Year :   2003
  Location :   England
  Worktype :   Installation
  Materials:   -
  Info :   TATE TRIENNIAL OF CONTEMPORARY BRITISH ART Exhibition, Tate Britain, London

  Work Details  
  This work could be heard in the alcoves of Tate Britains Manton Entrance. It consisted of two circuits of microphone, loudspeaker and noise gate. The microphones pick up the ambient sound of the space, acoustically focussed by the curved surfaces at each side of the entrance area and build it up to the point of feedback. This sound is cut off by the noise gate when a certain volume is reached allowing the listener to become part of the process. Although Cunningham has initiated this process, he has little control over its outcome. He provides the conditions and the equipment but it is the presence of people moving through the space which moves the air and alters the characteristics of the sound. Over December 2002 and January 2003 a public installation work was created specifically for the Atterbury Street Manton Entrance of Tate Britain. There are two alcoves built out of the stone wall at each side of the entrance area which I have amplified to act something like parabolic reflectors, creating a narrow focussed zone across the entrance where the sound of the space becomes hyper-real. The development of this installation had to cope with a much less controlled situation than previous work, high levels of background noise and large numbers of visitors, plus the exposure of microphones to extremes of temperature and humidity. ĎA position between two curvesí specifically employs the innovation of a tuned double system - equivalent to two independent installations of the basic technology used in The Listening Room. This double system is designed so that the electronic part of the chain is independent but the acoustic part of the chain is interdependent - the two systems hear and react to each other.