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"Kies vom Zürcher See"

Technique: cardboard box, pebbles, speaker, cd player, low frequency sine waves

Around the Coyote Gallery
GeoPhonoBox Group Exhibition
http://aroundthecoyote.org
Chicago

March 2–28, 2007


Text to the exhibition:
GeoPhonoBox an exhibit curated by Chicago based visual and sonic artist Zoe Asta and Associate Professor in the Department of Film, Peck School of the Arts, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Rob Danielson. This exhibition will feature sound recordings about "place" created by sound artists, nature recordists, ethnographers, composers, pedestrians, geographers and other practitioners from around the world. Each submission in the show is to represent one geographic place within the realm of a cardboard shipping box.

Each artist was sent a cardboard shipping box in which they could include visual cues, if they desired, along with their sound project. Each box is displayed in the gallery as it was returned to us from the artists, the box serving as a document of the distance the sound piece traveled as well as the container for the visual and auditory elements of the piece.


Text to the installation "Kies vom Zürcher See": title of this piece translates in english to "Gravel from Zurich Lake."

According to the Call for Participation for the exhibition GeoPhono Box "each box is to represent sounds of a particular place." I decided to achieve this not through a recording but with a simple installation of vibrating gravel collected from the shores of Lake Zurich.

Five pieces of gravel are placed on a 7.5 centimeter speaker. 100 hertz sine waves played back through the speaker vibrate the gravel. The cardboard shipping box acts as a resonator, amplifying the otherwise very quiet sound of the vibrating gravel. A listening hole cut into the top of the shipping box allows the exhibition visitor to get "inside" the sound of the vibrating gravel.

"Kies vom Zürcher See" is not merely a symbolic gesture; for me the sound of the vibrating gravel in the gallery environment closely parallels the actual sound of the gravel on the shores of Zurich Lake, where wind and water sends the gravel skittering and vibrating.

 

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