adev_Looking Outwards 04_Sound Art

Intersection, 1993

Don Ritter

This art installation has a lot of interesting things going on in it. It is essentially a group of eight speakers, spread out to create four “lanes” in a dark room with no light. The sound is of cars rushing past and when a visitor walks between these speakers, or in one of these lanes, these cars react and come to a screeching halt. If a visitor stays stationary for longer than eight seconds, more cars pile up and then zip off once the visitor leaves.

I think this is extremely thought provoking. It uses sound to create this feeling of rush and fear from car collision experience, one we imagine to be more about our physiological, visual experiences. It uses sound to affectively get that feeling across. It also provides this dark room where this interaction takes place, something that feeds into the fear while also making the experience much more visceral. I think the process makes you and other people so much more aware of you, in spite of the darkness. The screeching of a car is such a convergence of lives and people. In the moment of a car halt, we recognise each other, a very human feature of our inner nature comes out, its this strange act of survival in one’s everyday life, an average red flag.

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