Spectre and Spectator: Field Recordings 


Collection of 3 audio tracks - duration 19’06”, 13’13” and 13’06”, recorded on-site at Catalyst Arts,
1411kbps WAV in CD ROM

Photo Courtesy of Simon Mills.

The main approach in the work combines electroacoustic concepts with site-specific, participatory visual art forms. The making of the sound installation combined the field recording practice that uses sound for space surveying and sample remixing. Moments behind an exhibition display - during installing and de-installing shows at Catalyst Arts’ space were first recorded using a field recorder, which formed the original 19’06” track.
Three months later, this recording was played back in the same exhibition space during install time which was fed through an external controller of audio effects I created via Ableton. A Catalyst Arts’ current board member was invited to be the spectator and to mix the track with their preferred effects while listening to it. They could control and play with the volume, delay time, resonator frequency, filter frequency, panning range, and ping-pong delay, creating and performing their new sound narratives in real-time. The subjective interpretation of the past, a site-specific, participatory performance by the spectator, was immediately recorded for the next iteration and formed the 13’13” track. The 13’13” track was played in the Catalyst Arts’ space again three months later and the process was iterated again forming the 13’06” track. The concept of this sound art work is to carry the same pattern up to a point where no one knows or remembers what the original sounds like. The spectre builds up with the spectators’ input.