Carley Johnson Looking Outwards 11

The group I came across, iii, is “an artist-run platform supporting radical interdisciplinary practices engaging with image, sound, space and the body.” They do residencies, and support artists, but the specific project I’ll be looking at is a totally immersive installation called “The Intimate Earthquake Archive”. The art piece uses almost every sense through vests and compositions derived from seismic recordings, interactive radio broadcasts, and sandstone earth core samples and wooden scaffolding set up around the people inside.

In this photo you can see the scaffolding and the vests worn by participants.

This project is really interesting because it plays with sound in so many ways. There are radio broadcasts as well as recordings of an Earthquake in Groningen, but the vest are the most interesting. Based on movement and position in the space, they omit sounds and rumbles that affect different parts of the body. I like how their website describes these tactile vests: “allows the wearer to explore the subtle rumbles of the earthquakes on the body.”

The truth about sound is we love it- we love music- and there is no doubt that what we listen to affects the state of our body. But often, this is not an idea explored in relation to art or so firmly attached to what we feel. I would love to wear one of these vests. Feeling and hearing the soft rumble of an earthquake in my stomach as well as all around me sounds at once terrifying and calming.

I have to suppose that the algorithms used employ motion capture graphics, so as to track the wearers progress through the Earthquake, and possibly some complex math in the transducer speakers inside the vest to know when and wear to trigger a rumble.


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