Representing Place

Sound as artifacts of place

Posted in maps, student presentations by wrriley on March 24, 2010

Sound is part of how we inhabit and embody a place.  One of the primary thoughts I took from Casey’s Earth-Mapping was the idea of mapping as tracing or dragging something across a surface.  I wanted to see if I could map a sound to a surface.  I started this project by collecting sounds as artifacts of place, specifically the daily sounds I create or interact with in my living space.  I was interested in the kind of sounds we become so accustomed to that they hover on the periphery of awareness or dissolve completely, such as, a squeaky board or all the electronic hums that accompany our existence.  Could these sounds be resituated within a visual context while retaining reference to the aural origins?

I choose to visualize the sound as a waveform because it is a kind of recognizable graph of sound.  Embroidery was used as a means to embody the waveform in that it is a kind of textural drawing or writing that can be read but also felt.

This is the beginning of exploration of what I hope to be a long-term project that I envision as creating a sense of lived place through a collection of visualized sounds.


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  1. Michelle Davis said, on March 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Gorgeous!!! Beautiful idea for a hankie too;-)
    Love this!

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