David Cunningham - Listening to the Architecture
  Year :   2001
  Location :   Finland
  Worktype :   Installation
  Materials:   -
  Info :   Transience Festival, Kiasma, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki

  Work Details  
  The technology employed here is a system of 25 loudspeakers mounted on the massive 4 floor high wall of the main concourse of the Kiasma Gallery (see plan). Each individual speaker is under the control of an automated routing system from a central control system (source is a ProTools system). A microphone mounted in the space was routed to the speaker grid and a pattern of amplification was set up so that the speakers nearest the microphone gently begin to feed back - as the feedback builds, the automation is set so that that row of speakers are faded down and the next row of speakers come on, this process continuing until the end row of speakers. So the feedback sustains and moves through the space, remodulating and shifting as the sets of speakers are activated and deactivated along the concourse. As with The Listening Room, this installation allows the resonant frequencies of a room to become audible. This process is modulated by very slight acoustic changes as people move around the room, by ambient sound, by humidity and temperature, by noises and by anything that causes air to move. The sound is spatially differentiated according to the interference of amplified room resonances and the listening position. Behind the apparently sparse minimalism is an attempt to work with natural complexity in a musical situation. In sound, natural complexity is acoustic reflection, resonance, air moving in space and the generation of harmonics. With this work I attempt to create a situation which allows people to listen very hard to the space theyre in - making conscious an unconscious process.