Recap of Fall 2010 final projects

I started reading again today (after recovering from final critique and having limited mental functioning for about a week), but then I realized that I haven’t had a recap of all the feedback and information I’ve gathered for the last few weeks. I pulled together my final projects and was really happy with all three… here’s a quick recap of how they turned out and next steps.

1. I created a sound installation for tech studio – an experience of the city in audio form. I had four tracks playing simultaneously in four corners of a small room, each one with ambient sounds and interviews from a neighborhood in nyc. At first I wanted to find out if you could recognize a neighborhood based on it’s sound alone, but then I became more interested in giving spectators the opportunity to “stop and listen” and to shut off the visual sense completely. The visual sense dominates with an overwhelming amount of sensory information in the city, so I wanted to explore how much more we experience/learn about the city by isolating the sense of hearing. Like my other work, this project is also about how our surroundings communicate to us (with conversations and other ambient sounds).

A couple ideas to explore with this project:
+It could benefit from completely shutting off the visual sense (i.e. no lights, blocking out windows).
+Also, I would like to try spacing out the audio collages even more so that when all four play simultaneously, there is the ebb and flow that I achieved with each individual one. Right now when all four play it sounds like one unchanging level.
+Technical aspect of audio installation – how to make each neighborhood audible individually at each corner while the others fade out? Have the volume increase as person walks towards it, or have a piece overhead (or headphones) that you can enter and be fully immersed in sound.
+A couple professors would have appreciated the audio at ear level, but others appreciated the upward movement of sound (similar to the experience in the city).

Everyone I talked to made me think a lot about looking at installation work and trying to go in that direction for my thesis exhibition. Michelle emphasized thinking a lot about how the viewer walks through the space – watch what they do and make adjustments based on that.

2. For the final Visual Language project I took my images from 23 Wall Street (the site of the 1920 bombing), collaged them and created a three-dimensional hanging sculpture.

These images give an idea of the process. The 3-D object explores the site of this terrorist attack from different angles, demonstrating that one story can be understood from many different perspectives. This project is also part of my ongoing investigation into how the built environment communicates to us, and the meaning we derive from it.

A few notes on this project:
+There needs to be more of an explosion, the type and composition is still relatively quiet (even when I try to make a political statement, it’s polite and diplomatic. ugh)
+Until I explained what it was about, it wasn’t easily understood. The main point is that the damage from the 1920 bombing is still visible on the marble walls of the building, and people were missing that. How to communicate the bombing more? How can I let the viewer figure it out? Tell the story so that the important parts are accessible but still in a subtle way. For example, if some layers had news articles and other information on it. Maybe think of it as a Museum of the City of New York installation.
+It could have more portability and not be so dependent on the wall space.
+Or it could be a large-scale installation piece and the viewer could literally walk through it. In that case the other side of the fragments would have to come into consideration – they could be the interior of the building or another component of the space (i.e. people).

What I’m thinking of NEXT looks a little bit like this:

This is a designer named Rachel Stomel, who was featured on Dwell’s Youngest Guns site. The installation I would like to create for thesis exhibition has my drawings and then flashing layers of text about the place. How? I do not know! At this point it’s all in my mind (and on this blog).

Published by Elizabeth Pizzuti

Design, art, and cats mostly

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