Installations will be running in the foyer spaces throughout the event.
Already 289ms Away
Standing 100m tall (some say 99m, some say 110m), Old Joe is said to be the tallest freestanding clock tower in the world. Unlike a church bell, which defines the territory of a Parish, protecting those within it and calling the faithful to prayer, Old Joe has no sacred function, does not strike to warn of danger and provides no opportunity for ringing the changes. Striking the hours, Old Joe represents only the authority to mark time.
Yet standing at the foot of the tower, it takes 289ms for the sound of the bell to reach our ears while at the bell’s acoustic horizon it might take 2 seconds or more to be heard. The sound of Old Joe is always late then, and Already 289ms Away exposes this flaw in the authority of sound by playfully collapsing notions of distance into time.
Two geodesic ‘sound spheres’ are presented. Each houses 40 speakers which are conceived collectively as a single sound-producing unit. These produce complete and coherent sound fields which surround the occupants (who sit within). These speaker configurations accommodate the detailed spatial construction of sonic images over the surfaces of the spheres.
The perceived nature of each sphere—its apparent material structure and its context—is determined by these sonic images. Listeners, shutting their eyes, may for example feel themselves to be contained within an enclosed space, with rain pounding on the surface of what seems to be a corrugated iron ‘roof’, a roof that then transforms to become amorphous—composed of liquid that bubbles, trickles or gushes across the speaker-space before re-solidifying, receding, fragmenting and swirling around the listener. Or it may ultimately vanish altogether, presenting real-world sonic environments that are indistinguishable from the reality that exists beyond the sphere. In this way, the listener’s ear is drawn outwards by the sonic narrative, extending beyond the structure into the already-there and inviting/encouraging a re-experiencing (or simply raising an awareness) of the existing sound environment.