Sound,Field took place at the ACRE residency in August of 2017 as part of my program as a Visiting Artist. The immersive, participatory sound performance created an environment of collaborative echolocation in an vast and unfamiliar space. The phenomenon of echolocation, generally associated with bats or submarines, was in this case facilitated by software I created to transform mobile phones into offline sound beacons.
After compiling and organizing collections of sounds from various natural, cultural and technological/scientific origins, I invited an audience of participants to choose one of these sounds to physically embody for the duration of the piece. To complicate the selection process, a written description accompanied each sound — serving to provide context and rationale for selection on a conceptual rather than aesthetic basis.
On a starlit field, isolated from sources of light and noise, the audience-participants were blindfolded, dispersed and encouraged to explore the field using only their co-participants’ sound to guide them.
A discussion following the performance focused on exploring the tension between the relative conceptual and aesthetic merits of their chosen sound and the inability of the sound itself to communicate to others the intention behind their choice.