Civic Media, Tactical Design
Conceptualizing and Performing Sound Assignment
Sound is the idea of transition – that you are moving through space – but it can also contribute to a loss of sense of place. Our sound piece inspired by Walter Ruttman’s “Weekend,” is an ensemble of sounds collected from both New York City and the island of St. Croix, in the Caribbean. The idea behind our project was to integrate the sounds of New York City, being a cultural hub for diversity and emigration, with those of the Caribbean. The sounds from both locations are blended together to provide a sense of disorientation between place and space.
As speed and access to information becomes more readily available, so is cultural-hybridization accelerating at a progressive rate. While some celebrate the idea of a more global-centric world, others consider it a detrimental dissolution of the nation-state and absolution of cultural differences and traditions. Regardless, the transformation and transparency between the subject and location provides a disillusion of reality and evokes this sense of fragmentation in the modern world.
Mixing the sounds from both ‘places’ together creates the sense of displacement – are we still in New York or back in the Caribbean? Although the idea of blending cultures and nations is no longer a ‘new’ idea, representing these mixed experiences cohesively may only be possible through one medium – sound. Our piece aims to critically examine absence and distance, while also playing on the idea of ruptures in time and space created by a more globally interconnected world.