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Wogarno Wire Installation (1999 - )

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Outdoor Installation, Sound Sculpture and Environmentally Sensitive Installation
Location: Wogarno Hill, Western Australia, Australia
By Alan Lamb

This work represents one extreme of the range of structures covered by the term Wire Installation. It is a sound sculpture. It is not an instrument to be played with or modulated. Its design is minimalist consisting of a pair of galvanized steel wires separated 25cm, 3.15mm diameter and 300 meters long. The wires are drawn taut between the top and bottom of Wogarno Hill, a solitary red granite landmark three by one kilometers rising about 50 meters above the semi-desert plains of the mid west outback of Western Australia. The wires are tied independently at each end to massive boulders using the minimum fixtures possible. There is a single 2cm thick steel bolt wedged into a crack in the bottom boulder around which both wires are tied. At the top of the hill each wire is tied to its own loop of fine steel rope wrapped around the one boulder. From their tie points the wires are guided up from the back of each boulder and over the top where they are kept from scraping on the rock by the primitive means of using short lengths of broken sticks and corks held in place simply by the tension of the wires to act as "bridges". The bridges lie on large, found, naturally occurring plates of granite which transmit the vibrations of the wires into the boulders and cause them to sing softly. When the winds are favourable and flowing smoothly so high above the plain they excite the most beautiful harmonic and ever changing hymning. It is the perfect sound to represent all that is so mysterious and wonderful in this vast lanscape. It is soft enough to be inaudible more than a few meters from the boulders, and loud enough to hear every infinite detail when the ear is held to crevices in the boulders. The ground can be felt to vibrate subtly underfoot. Lying upon the boulders fills the entire body with the vibration, every cell. It is healing.
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Prepared by: Iain Mott
Created: 30 May 2002
Modified: 14 June 2002

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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