We are pleased to welcome the artist Colin Frank for a two week residency in sound creation. This proposal marks the inaugural edition of the Jeu de temps / Times Play (JTTP) project organized by the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC) in partnership with Sporobole.
Machines pervade urban environments, yet their sonic performances are little considered. Everything from air conditioner units to electrical boxes continually hum, clunk, and sing everywhere around us. They create sonic landscapes that are often ignored or given little attention to, even though they underpin the psychogeography of the spaces we live in, work at, and travel to. By considering the sounds of machines as posthuman performances, then we can reimagine the spaces around us as living and breathing environments. How can listening to machines’ performances change our perceptions of the spaces we live in?
This project aims to create an audience-interactive installation that maps machine noises that will be recorded around Sherbrooke. The city’s technological soundscape will be brought into the installation space, compressing the wider city’s hum into one location. By combining these field recordings with photographs and digital maps of Sherbrooke, the installation seeks to reconsider how we increasingly understand distance, space, and place through virtual representations. Interior, acoustically dampened spaces contrast with exterior, sonically rich ones, and these real-world soundscapes concurrently contrast with the ‘quiet’ and self-curated soundscapes of our digital world. As we increasingly immerse ourselves in digital spaces on smartphones and other devices, the background hum of our cityscapes grows louder—not only through audible sounds but also through inaudible ‘data exhaust’, electromagnetic interferences, and other electronic sonic residues. By listening-in and giving focus to the performances of these non-humans, perhaps we can discover otherworldly and inspiring new types of music.