YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE. IGNORE THIS MESSAGE!

In the public square scattered cell phone “bell” alerts dot the city soundscape ringing from pockets, bags and café tables. This image shows an iphone with alerts set to bells.

Title:

Your Attention Please! Ignore this Message

When and Where:

Exhibited as part of Break It! Build It! at the Burlington City Arts Gallery, July 25, 2014 – September 13, 2014

Ideas:

This installation is inspired by an earlier work, the Firehouse Bell Project.

Despite major shifts in technology, bells continue to serve as cultural signifiers in the public square. A bell like the one atop this firehouse remains part of the built environment even though it no longer rings. Next door at City Hall a bell recording plays on the hour through an amplifier, no physical bell required. Scattered cell phone “bell” alerts dot the city soundscape ringing from pockets, bags and café tables.

Within the lifetime of current Burlington residents, civic bells like the Firehouse Bell communicated singular messages that found meaning in community, time and place.
By contrast in 2014 bells and alerts from personalized media sustain a persistent sonic layer of anytime–anyplace messages. While these messages are not meant for us they demand our attention.

Your Attention Please! Ignore this Message explores the cultural shift from public bells to private bells through Malcolm McCullough’s definition of the Ambient Commons. It is a reflection on how (and perhaps increasingly so) our sensory field comes from and refers to someplace else.

Installation Experience:

Ubiquitous cell phone alerts that reference bells were amplified in the gallery through ceiling speakers. Private alerts based on an individual’s schedule were played publicly. The installation Your Attention Please! Ignore this Message brings attention to the continued sounding of bells in the public square, despite major shifts in what we consider public and private and the blurring lines between the common digital and physical spaces we share.

Listen

Cell Phone Bells:  This short clip includes “chimes”, “bell”, “bell tower”, and “door bell”.

RELEASED.

An office intercom still works, its switches clearly labeled North Corr., Bubble Office, Dining Room, Kitchen, Ground Activity, etc. We flick its switches and listen to the rooms, each one echoes a unique memory and its own sound, each room sounding a distinctive blend of overtones and textures. The slow damp decay of the building’s structure holds all this. This sound piece begins to imagine the release.

Title:

RELEASED.

When and Where:

A sound installation at:

GOING TO WATERBURY: AN ELEGY
Art Installation and Closure Ceremony

Saturday, October 27, 2012
Sunday, October 28, 2012

Photographs of the hospital that were included in the exhibition 

Read more in this VT Digger article 

Ideas:

This sound composition is created from recordings made in Dale and Brooks on October 19, 2012 – just over a year after the hospital was evacuated due to floodwater damage from Tropical Storm Irene. The Vermont State Hospital was officially closed on October 20, 2011.

The building’s mechanics dominate its inner soundscape with churning, humming and buzzing that echoes in its empty hallways and rooms. Outside and heard through open windows, the area is circled by sounds of traffic, birds, the Vermonter train and the river. On this day it is raining.

An office intercom still works, its switches clearly labeled North Corr., Bubble Office, Dining Room, Kitchen, Ground Activity, etc. We flick its switches and listen to the rooms, each one echoes a unique memory and its own sound, each room sounding a distinctive blend of overtones and textures. The slow damp decay of the building’s structure holds all this. This sound piece begins to imagine the release.

Lighting by Jeffrey Salzberg

Thank you to Tom Stevens and Kevin Rogers.

Background:

The Vermont State Hospital in its early days.

Construction for the Vermont State Asylum for the Insane began in 1891. It was expanded and modernized through the early 1960s. 1963 – 2011 is considered a period of deinstitutionalization for the campus.  The hospital was evacuated due to floodwater damage from Tropical Storm Irene in the fall of 2011. For more information about the history of Asylums in the U.S and around the world: www.asylumprojects.org

Read more in this VT Digger article 

Installation Experience:

The Installation RELEASED is projected through two sets of speakers, one set is inside the blue room listening area, the other set outside and directed toward the open sky. As you listen to the composition in the contained space of the blue room, at the same time it is released out into the open air.

Listen

Listen to RELEASED.

Released. Waterbury, Vermont 2012
Looking into the blue-lit room from outside the hospital. The installation sounded inside the blue room and was also “released” into the open air from speakers on the roof of the building.

SOUNDS OF A STONE HOME

Title:

SOUNDS OF A STONE HOME

When and Where:

On location at the stone quarries at Millstone Hill in Barre Town, Vermont.

As part of the group exhibition ON THE PLANET

Presented by Studio Place Arts.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010: 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Sunday, September 5, 2010: 3:00 – 5:30 pm

Ideas:

SOUNDS OF A STONE HOME is a shimmer of sound that explores the comings and goings of the creatures, people and things who inhabit the stonequarries at Millstone Hill in Barre Town, Vermont.

This place is both abandoned and found. Tall walls of cut stone are stacked in these woods. Trees grow from their cracks and wildlife dwells in their crevices. Nearby stone quarries are flooded with blue-green water. What was once the metal and wood track of the railroad is now a grassy path that meanders through the past and present.



Exhibition Experience:


A remix of the the quarry’s natures and cultures was amplified from the stones that align the now grassy paths hiking and biking paths. Carefully placed “Listen” signage was placed nearby.

One hundred years ago, Millstone Hill was the site of over 75 small independent quarry operations, fueling Barre’s dramatic 19th century growth and prosperity. Virtually every square foot of millstone hill was cleared and quarried. During the 20th century, as quarry operations consolidated, these smaller independents closed down. Gradually the quarries filled with water and the forest returned. What was a virtual industrial wasteland was reclaimed by nature.

Listen:

 

Seven Days Review

SOUND AND COLOR: EXPLORING TIME AND PLACE ON THE LAKE CHAMPLAIN WATERFRONT

Champlain Sound and Color - Burlington VT - Paris
Champlain Sound and Color. Pictured here is the color stream projected at La Bellevilloise gallery in Paris, France. The stream was live from the ECHO Center in Burlington VT.

Title:

SOUND AND COLOR: EXPLORING TIME AND PLACE ON THE LAKE CHAMPLAIN WATERFRONT

Artists: Jenn Karson, Matt Larson

When and Where

In April 2010 CiTu labs of the University of Paris held the first synchronized international event for The Art Collider. In Vermont, sound artist Jenn Karson and photographer Matt Larson participated from ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington, Vermont. They contributed live sound and video streams from the Burlington Waterfront using max/MSP.

The Art Collider is an online platform that supports a collaborative creation of media art through a system of Peer-to-Peer and Artist-to-Artist production.

Sites in the Paris, Montreal, San Francisco, New York & Linz participated in the event.

Idea:

Lake Champlain is a place of global history and natural beauty. Its cultural communities have included
the native Abnaki, early French & British settlers. Presently Burlington is a place of
Asian and African refugee resettlement programs. Traffic from Burlington’s international airport is a dominant element of the Lake’s soundscape. Accompanying its cultural communities are its natural communities. Spring in Vermont is always a dynamic season, a combination of snowfall and snow melt, mud and ice, rain, sleet, sun and frost. It is a time when people and the animals who made their way south for the winter, return. Currently, the weather in the area is more turbulent than usual as the northeast region of the United States is experiencing record flooding and temperatures.

Sound and Color: Exploring Time and Place on the Lake Champlain Waterfront is an exploration of
these natures and cultures that are the Lake Champlain Waterfront.

The Streams

Champlain Sound Stream

SCORING THE STREETS OF NEW ORLEANS

NEW ORLEANS CITY SOUNDSCAPE, 2010. This image was created from midi data used to create SOUNDING THE STREETS OF NEW ORLEANS

Title:

SCORING THE STREETS OF NEW ORLEANS (sound)

NEW ORLEANS CITY SOUNDSCAPE (image)

When and Where

ETHNOGRAPHIC TERMINALIA NEW ORLEANS
DuMois Gallery, New Orleans
November 11 – December 3, 2010
Opening Reception: Friday, November 19
Image: New Orleans City Soundscape, 2010.

Idea:

Fragments of song float from street corners and weave throughout
the open-air bars and restaurants that line Bourbon Street. For the
passerby, pieces of numerous songs are threaded into one melody.
Time signature is determined by the walker’s gate, notes by the chance
encounters with the sound events of the place, points on a map. 

On December 31st, 2004 I walked through the French Quarter and down Bourbon Street recording the experience described above. Music, the sounds of busy streets and celebrations all became part of the recording. Using midi conversion, I translated the original eldrecording into digital data. The data now works as a master score, open to diverse interpretations.

In 2010 I’ve worked with this score to create the sound piece SCORING THE STREETS OF NEW ORLEANS and the image NEW ORLEANS CITY SOUNDSCAPE.

Listen

SOUNDING THE STREETS OF NEW ORLEANS

NAVIGATING THE BAY

Projection from NAVIGATING THE BAY. This was an active score that responded to active triggers (sensors) in the courtyard.

Title:

NAVIGTING THE BAY

When and Where:

San Francisco Art institute Courtyard
December 2008

Score/drawing used in the projection of the installation NAVIGATING THE BAY.

Ideas:

Navigating the Bay is a sound and projection installation that explores the complex systems of humans, animals and machines that rely and reside on the San Francisco Bay. A response to the  2007 Cosco Busan Oil Spill that was partly the fault of malfunctioning radar, the installation uses sound, projection, sensors, micro controllers and Max/MSP. The piece explores the progression of navigational technologies,  channeling current sounds of the bay through historic San Francisco fog horn patterns.

Listen