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Owens Video Club: Sonic Consciousnesses

Ongoing

16 July 2020 - 30 July 2020

Details

Start:
16 July 2020
End:
30 July 2020

Curated by

Rachel Thornton

Owens Video Club: Sonic Consciousnesses

About this exhibition

Using digital tools and new technologies the works of Miranda Bellamy, Amanda Fauteux, and Lindsay Dawn Dobbin reveal hidden languages from within non-human sources. By employing biodata sonification and deep-listening techniques, they draw attention to the imperceptible but complex vibrations emanating from physical objects and plants, translating them into sounds and audible experiences that invite new ways of listening.

Miranda Bellamy and Amanda Fauteaux’s video Listening to Our Plant Neighbours, 2019, uses biodata sonification technology to amplify the presence of wild plants and weeds thriving in marginal areas around Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighbourhood. By attaching electrodes to these plants, they recorded electrical impulses that were then used to generate soundscapes that reveal the hidden language of diverse flora surviving and thriving in the cracks, ditches, berms, and crevices of this urban environment. Easily overlooked in the hustle of everyday life, these wild plants are heard as sounds and music, thereby shifting the anthropocentric focus of our experience of nature to one in which the environment may communicate with us if we have the tools to let it speak.

Offering an environment for deep listening, Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk)/Acadian/Irish artist, musician, water protector and educator Lindsay Dawn Dobbin’s audio work Drum Voices, 2015, reveals a hidden choir within a deer-hide hand drum. Created by recording, then digitally manipulating the sound of a single drum strike, this work discloses an other-worldly but simultaneously terrestrial soundscape in which we are asked to listen closely to the rhythms as they develop. In the stretched out and manipulated audio, the regular passing of time falls away and we float into the rhythmic sounds through intense attention and awareness to the practice of listening. The reverberant tones create an echo and tempo akin to the cycles of waves on a shoreline, working in unison to draw a voice from within the drum that shares the knowledge it holds within.

Through these technologically mediated ways of listening, we can acknowledge the invisible vibrations that are part of the world surrounding us. By embracing these unheard languages, we may develop new, deeper connections with these voices and share their stories … if we are willing to listen.

—Rachel Thornton, Curator of Digital Engagement