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Ten To The Power of Fourteen/a-phas-ing (2002)

Go to Gallery Page Ten To The Power of Fourteen/a-phas-ing
Related EntriesAudio Visual Gallery
Location: Canberra School of Art, ACT, Australia
Collaborative project by Claire Sourgnes and Somaya Langley.

1014/a-phas-ing is a collaborative installation between visual artist Claire Sourgnes and sound artist Somaya Langley. The artists chose to explore the relationship between neurology and verbal communication, focussing upon its dysfunction and the potential effects.

The sound component of the installation is taken from a single spoken word: “aphasia” – impairment in the understanding and/or formulation of complex meaningful elements of language. This source word is scattered into fragments and becomes uninterpretable, leaving behind only remnant tones. Processed beyond the point of comprehension, only the sonorities of the voice and the marks of digital manipulation can be perceived. The sound world drifts from barely audible to a consuming resonance. This particular word was selected as it reflects Sourgnes installation – an explosion of communication resulting in the dysfunction in meaning of the aural material.

The visual element of the installation stems from Sourgnes interest in neurology particularly in neurological deficit and its impact on (verbal) language and communication. Sourgnes uses dendritic forms as metaphors for language or syntax. Hand formed paper and dyed laminated rag was shredded into pieces and suspended in two separate cluster formations (each configuration with the dimensions: 1.3m wide x 1.3m deep x 4.5m high).

The installation site was a small room (8m wide x 4m deep x 4.5m high) in the Canberra School of Art building. Initial inspection of the site highlighted that sound reflected quite easily off all the surfaces in the room. The majority of the sound for the installation was consciously created at low amplitudes, requiring audience members to actively listen. Sections with louder amplitudes reverberated off the hard surfaces.

The 20 minute looped soundscape contains a combination of shimmering high-pitched electroacoustic gestures and low rumblings. Lower pitched sounds vibrated the suspended paper, causing them to tremble lightly. Audience members could choose to close the door to the space, immersing themselves in the installation, moving around the suspended forms and observing the relationship between the paper suspensions and the sound.

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Prepared by: Iain Mott
Created: 3 December 2003
Modified: 17 December 2003

Published by The University of Melbourne
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: i.mott@unimelb.edu.au
Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 18 January 2007

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