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Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Sound Fountains
Caroline Locke

One of the functions of the installation is to explore how sound moves visually - deepening the understanding of what sound really is– a series of movements in time - a transmission of energy by a series of vibrations.

Caroline Locke, Sound Fountain, 2011

I first developed vibration tanks when exploring wave formations and before replacing the motors with speakers. I went on to create The Maasticht Sound Fountain – a permanent sculpture commissioned by The University of Maastricht - where sound waves move through the water allowing the spectator to experience the sight of sound.

I am interested in exploring the relationship of the spectator and the performer and the opportunities to blur their respective roles within contemporary art practices. I have been investigating ways in which a spectator can engage more in my work through direct interaction. For example: a spectator will become performer and integral to the work by triggering sensors, which orchestrate changes within the exhibition space.

During a 3-month residency as Visiting Academic at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, I began working with Casey Rice - a noted sound specialist and Max Msp software programmer from the USA.

Caroline Locke, Sound Fountain, 2011

In April 2007, the Arts council of England funded a further period of research with Rice, to develop our initial experimentation. I flew out to work alongside him in his studio in Melbourne, Australia. The outcome of this research forms the basis of Sound Fountains.

Over the last 2 years we have updated and extended this research within the Faculty at The University Of Derby. Alex Gibbins, Lecturer in Multimedia Technology has worked with myself and students using Max Msp software and Interactive technologies. We have used this project as a case study, exploring and experimenting with new devices – giving students access to cutting edge equipment and challenging ways of utilizing it.

I am now enjoying the process of building a new version of the work for Nottingham Contemporary – bringing the research back home after along time working away. The work shares some of the concerns of Weber’s, drawing on natural forces, using sound vibrations, water and notions of order and chaos.

Rehearsals for the live performance began last week with musicians Steve Truman and Sam Hempton. For some time I have been alone with the work, it is good now to share it with fellow admirers. We feel like we are part of a laboratory experiment. Looking at the water surface of the sound fountains is like staring into a fire – we become absorbed.

Posted by at 4:24


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