Week 32: installation

roof section of bird-hide in gallery corner

Plans are afoot this week, with pen, paper and timber. Schemes are underway for creating an immersive sound installation. How to do this when I am sharing a gallery space? This important final component of my project is all about communicating the process of how I created images from the vibrational sounds of making paper.

With help from many people I have created a short one and a half minute video which shows sound patterns in water and how these create a fractal image. The soundtrack will be comprised of a slowed down section of the paper making process, the forming of paper from cooked and beaten banana fibre pulp.  The mould is dipped into the pulp vat then removed. Sound is created as water drips from the mould and this sound is slowed down to create a bass line which creates the patterns. Real time sound of the mould dripping water follows, then a pause as the fibres meld together. A surprising yet vital addition to the end of the soundtrack is the incidental sound of birdsong.

Many ideas for creating a soundscape were considered and discarded as we came up with trying to create an intimate space for immersion and reflection, a meditative state of experiential resonance as paper is formed. Inspired by birdsong, the final idea was to imitate a ‘bird hide’, a discreet area away from the world in which to have a listening and viewing experience.

dimensional plan for bird-hide

When considering dimensions for this structure, the little building has a slight roof overhang, a transitional space between the gallery or larger ‘world’, a sense of entry through a doorway into the intimacy of the inside space.

In the book A Pattern Language, the authors maintain that the entrance to any building needs a transitional space and that the experience of entering influences the way you feel inside the building. If the transition is too abrupt there is no sense of ‘arrival’ into its inner sanctum.  What matters is “that the transition exists, as an actual physical place, between the outside and the inside, and that the view, and sounds, and light, and surface which you walk on change as you pass through this place.”[1]

All things to consider, even when making such a small structure for a short video viewing. I am constantly reminded that this attention to detail is the difference between something working, or ‘falling short of the mark’. I rely on the guidance and expertise of others to help with the various installation features, the random things I have not factored in. So much of my project is owed to the help of friends and mentors who have assisted me throughout the year.

Now as I write this last blog post before my writings are transformed into a blog book, I  acknowledge with deep gratitude all the people who have helped me bring Paper/Song to its fruition. Thank-you!



[1] Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, and Murray Silverstein, A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977), 549-52.




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