Sound / Media Installations

Approaches to Erg (2014/15)
Media installation featuring 13-channel audio and high definition footage captured above selected shipwreck sites along a 40km stretch of Halifax Harbour and the Approaches. The recordings are placed at coordinates in surround sound space which correspond to their geographic locations, and the composition sweeps gradually through this composite "sound map" of the harbour waters (from the SS Daniel Steinmann near Sambro Island to the Erg tug at the northeastern tip of Bedford Basin). The dynamics of the piece are informed by the geography of the harbour and the history of these disasters at sea. Part of the body of work entitled Point Line Intersection: In and Around Urban Waters which examines the relationships between city dwellers and natural water systems. Developed through the Acoustic Networks artist residency at the Centre for Art Tapes in Halifax. The work was designed for multi-channel surround sound, but a stereo version has been uploaded to this site for online playback. Listening through headphones is recommended.
watch installation video | view slideshow | watch full-length film

Clamour (2013)
Site-specific project for DNA Artspace in collaboration with media artist Giles Whitaker. The former workplace kitchen of London's Fodemesi Shoes factory and showroom is reanimated with sound and motion. A software patch designed in Pure Data stretches and compresses recordings of silverware on ceramics using so-called Pythagorean tuning ratios. The results are introduced into the space through a 10-channel array of surface transducers, speakers and subwoofers installed in the cupboards, walls, and ceiling of the space. Whitaker's computer-controlled appliances operate autonomously within this immersive field of sound to evoke and intensify the forlorn qualities of the abandoned site. The work engages with ideas of labour, consumption, conditioned appetites, and noise.
watch video | view slideshow | listen audio excerpt

Ears Under the Atlantic (2013)
Multi-channel sound installation occupying nearly two city blocks along the Halifax Harbour boardwalk. An onsite FM transmitter broadcasts a composition of echosounding needle pulses and bursts of high frequency sound to over 50 FM radios affixed to lamps and mooring posts along the harbour front. Visitors are led toward a central listening area surrounded by a multi-channel PA system which presents a constantly-shifting soundscape composed of underwater recordings captured from coordinates above the wreck sites of several naval support vessels now resting on the floor of the Harbour and Approaches (i.e. the Clare Lilley, Trongate, Mont Blanc, and Erg).
At periodic intervals, a traditional maritime folk song entitled The Drowned Sailor (performed by local singer/songwriter Victoria Parker) is foregrounded. Specially-designed software monitors radio activity around the exhibition site, and uses this information to distort and spatialize the vocal recording, referencing the breakdown of radio communications, and the aesthetic qualities of sound moving through water
.
watch video | view slideshow | listen audio excerpt

Sounding Waters: Tokyo Rivers (2013-)
Multi-channel surround sound composition installed in the Beltone Anechoic Chamber at the National Centre for Audiology at Western University. Part of a body of work entitled Point Line Intersection: In and Around Urban Waters which examines the relationships between city dwellers and natural water systems.
Underwater recordings captured under each bridge along the three major river systems which run through Tokyo are placed at coordinates in surround sound space which correspond to their geographic locations, rendering a composite "sound map" of the river waters. The composition is treated in a way that sweeps gradually from the highest to lowest audible frequencies captured. The duration of the full composition is approximately 10 minutes, but has been abbreviated for the purposes of documentation. Listening through headphones is recommended.
watch video | listen stereo audio

Never was a Shade (2012)
5-channel sound installation which merges paranormal research hardware with responsive computing systems to present a continually-shifting listening environment based on the Ombra Mai Fu (translated as "never was a shade") aria from George Frideric Handel's Serse. Playback duration, and the spatial positioning of narrow bands of frequency extracted from a contemporary performance of the aria are determined by signals coming from a so-called "Spirit Box" (i.e. ITC Research Device seen in the video documentation of the work). As these layers of sound emerge and decay, the original vocal recording is reconstructed and reconfigured in a way that shifts between the recognizable and abstract, the concrete and fleeting. The project explores ideas of modulation/demodulation and the disembodied voice. It was inspired by research into early developments in radio transmission, and the history of wireless/sound recording technologies being deployed in the field of paranormal investigation.
watch video | view slideshow

Sweepings / Search Engines (2010)
2-channel kinetic sound installation in which mechanical devices driven by Arduino microcontrollers manipulate a pair of FM radio receivers, mimicking the two most ubiquitous gestures in current touch technology interfacing (i.e. swipe and tap). The units continuously scan the FM airwaves for the loudest transmissions. When an individual unit locates a signal that meets or exceeds its preprogrammed threshold of loudness, it will pause for a length of time based on the strength of the received transmission before resuming its search (essentially, the loudest transmissions receive the most "attention"). The combined gleaning of both units is presented in the restroom of the gallery space through ventilation ducts.
watch video
| view slideshow

Oscillations (2010)
Responsive audio installation in which acoustic feedback is regulated by a network of damping materials, sensors, microcontrollers, and motorized actuators. The resulting sound environment is contingent on factors such as temperature, visitor activity, and air pressure. A network of wall-mounted components monitors the intensity of feedback generated by two suspended structures, and mechanically adjusts volume to produce a continuous and audible field of pure frequencies that gradually fluctuates between consonant harmonics and noise. The contours and make-up of the existing gallery architecture create varied pockets of acoustic intensity and activity (i.e. standing waves and beat patterns).
watch video
| view slideshow

60 Cycle Hum (2009/2010)
Audio installation employing devices embedded into the floor, walls, and ceiling of a gallery corridor which render this transitory space into a resonating speaker surface. The audible content of the piece is derived from a series of recordings in which a performer is instructed to take 60 breaths and - through each exhalation - hum a pitch of 60 hertz (i.e. frequency of the North American electrical supply).
watch video
| view slideshow

Everything in its Reich place (2009)
Kinetic audio installation inspired by composer Steve Reich’s Pendulum Music. Pulses of acoustic feedback are generated through swinging electromagnets passing within close proximity to one another. Measured and regular machine gestures combine with the more complex influences of natural forces, and result in a continuously changing array of rhythmic and melodic patterns.
watch video
| view slideshow

Cartilage Glitches (2009)
Two 60-minute video sequences of a performer tiptoeing barefoot in a carpeted room are recorded with an infrared lamp. Each sequence is edited to isolate instances of audible cracks in the performer’s lower limbs. A monitor placed in a small alcove presents the distilled imagery, and the audio component is amplified through speakers suspended from the ceiling.
watch video

Synesthesia (2007)
Video clips of sporting events, television snow and test patterns are arranged in a way that develops and repeats according to the Classical Rondo structure. The video is looped and played through CRT monitors in the exhibition space. Magnetic pickups are placed in front of the monitors, and the image is converted into an audio signal which is then filtered through an array of equalizers and effects pedals before being amplified.
watch video
| view slideshow

Anomaly (2006)
Six kinetic sculptures are placed outside and along each side of a busy transitory corridor. These spinning steel structures are powered by cordless electric screwdrivers, and tap on the large glass window panes of the passageway. The acoustic characteristics of the space render this percussive sound into an immersive and reverberant listening environment. The performance ends when the screwdrivers exhaust their respective power supplies.
watch video

Intonarumori (2006)
Inspired by the noise machines of Luigi Russolo, this piece places various vibrating devices that would normally be found in the bedroom or bathroom on a rotating turntable. The devices pass in front of two guitar pickups, and the resulting audio signal is sent to an amplification system housed within a metal structure made of dismantled folding chairs, a cooking pot, a filing cabinet, and a trash bin.
watch video