This week I have been at SHIFT art space putting together plans for the installation and discussing other potential ideas. It is quite a large space and is very concrete. It isn’t as reverberant as you might expect but voices can travel far – which is good when there is spoken word poetry.
A conversation about the space with the technicians at the university was partly about how to dampen the sound of the space if it is too reverberant. This would be to hang cloth on the wall. After being in there for such a long time, my worries of needing to dampen down the room and make it less reverberant is no longer a factor (for now). I think after some tests I think that it is actually going to sound great. I think when people tell me they don’t think it will work then I instantly think that it has to and it will. So it will.
Soon I will hopefully get the dimensions of the space but above is the map. It will be the rectangular section I will be working in. The space has solid pillars places in quite a strange layout but I think that gives the space it’s uniqueness and allows me to play with installation in terms of a site specific piece of art.
After taking some photos and sending them to the technicians at the university I feel that in terms of installing something there is totally doable. On Monday I will be doing a little experiment in the reception area of Park Campus where I will be shown how to put together a simple 4 speaker set up for the ambisonic array. I have been told that I can then configure that to 8 and then 16 and then 22.2 (but I wont be using that for this installation). This is also to test out using ambisonics in a reverberant space. I have no idea what it will sound like. It could either sound really cool or just muddy the sound. This is a good exercise in general as I really want to understand how the speaker set up is working – and how it is working with the software. I also hope this is useful for the technicians at the university.
On Tuesday next week I will be taking the equipment used for the first little experiment and placing the small set up in SHIFT. This is an important part of the development of the installation as this is when we will really see how it will sound in the SHIFT. Lots of xlr cables and lots of extension leads will be needed! This again, is a good exercise for me because it will allow me to put together the system together on my own. This is in a way, good news, as it gets a little complicated when help from technicians at the university is needed and installation is going to be in Cardiff. I don’t expect people to work out of hours and in a different city for free – but this is something that I don’t need to think about really until nearer the time.
This is also to see what the installation actually needs and what the space needs too. I find it hard to understand where about’s I am working with the design thinking process but I think this is definitely a part of it – where you find compromising factors that make both things happy – in this case, the sound and the space – Because they both need to be working right to make the whole thing feel whole.
These are the grids that the lights are hanging on. I think it is also possible to hang projectors from pretty much anywhere- If this is something that I am still thinking of doing – having plants affect visuals.
Note that in the first photograph in this post the lights are off and there are fairy lights in the corner. I am thinking of using lights in this installation so already its good to see how light reacts in the space. This will be another test in the next couple of weeks.
The date for this installation will be the 17th of May for the opening and then it will be open for the whole day on Saturday 18th of May. I will hopefully have the 16th to install too but I will be prepping a lot before that.