‘Right Here, Some Other Time’ 2008

   You walk down the long hall, past bays for the cars that face out onto the busy Finchley road. The rush of traffic from outside reverberates through the space, a disused Mercedes showroom, used as a temporary space for the second phase of the 'Climate of Change' exhibition.

  As you approach what at first appears to be a minimalist sculpture, you see headphones suspended from its side, next to which is another piece of sculpture that could be the right height for a stool. You might sit down on the stool, and pick up the headphones. Your ears covered warmly by the large ear cups immediately make you feel enclosed, separate from the outside world and slightly withdrawn from what you see around you. But the sounds you hear are the same, the drone of traffic, the echoes of the room. There is something slightly odd though, in the quality of the sound; if you move your head the sound field does not move with it, then it changes slightly, like you have moved when you haven't, then there is a person walking,,, right in front of you, but there is no one there, and the person that is talking to someone behind you, when you turn does not exist. Gradually there is a realization that the changes in traffic noise are the same but out of time with the flow of traffic, that there is a subtle but disconcerting dislocation between what you are hearing, and the visual space you inhabit.

  This 'binaural' recording from the same location, but a different time, creates an uncanny sense of presence to the recording, which accentuates the sense of disorientation between seen and heard.

  The sounds you hear were recorded in the same spot during the installation of the show, as people wandered around, put up work and chatted. They were recorded with 'in ear' binaural microphones that record the sound field around the listener exactly as the ears hear it, from inside the ear, recreating the exact sound field, including all the subtle 'bio-acoustics' that give us our detailed and expansive sense of acoustic space.

  This lost fragment of sound, recorded, has an inherent romanticism to it. But the clear geometry of linear time; future, present, past, is confused by the lingering uncertainty created by the realization that part of the viewers present experience, has been supplanted by a sound track.


  My work often includes dialogue and narration, that
meanders between truth and fiction, exploring the processes by which we imbue experience and objects with meaning. In this piece the delayed recording, by being taken from the continuity of everyday experience and normality, fixed and replayed, becomes a soundtrack, implying a potential narrative and fictionality to the banal and arbitrary moment of the viewers present and recorded past.

   The sculpture is improvised using material found on site, an old piece of shuttering ply, some strange fluorescent felt used for a Mercedes marketing day. It loosely acquires a minimalist aesthetic from the haphazard found materials. On closer inspection the construction of the objects prove to be provisional, only good enough to provide an initial impression, in the manner of a scenery prop.
  The sound track slips and shifts the perception of the viewer, appearing to be one thing before sliding into another, confusing the sense of the present with another time, in the manner of Déjà Vu. This shift of perception, of what appears to be one thing into another, of the ‘here and now’ to the ‘some other time’ of the sound track, of the ‘minimalist object’ to haphazard collection of bits, questions the formalism of our own perceptions.

  For the next project I would like to use the same technique of the binaural recording of the space, but accompany the piece not with the plywood sculptures but  a large piece of 50% mirrored glass, leaning against the wall that would allow you to see yourself, as well as through mirror to the gallery wall. It would be titled 'Double Blind'.