Released. An Asylum Project

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.

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 

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.

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.

 

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:

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 to Released: