Wednesday, December 5, 2007

During my commute, I am constantly listening to the news, talking on the phone, signing along with music, swearing at the people in front of me. The ever-changing variety of sounds marks the time-span of my commute and the car itself becomes a pod of sound experience that carries me from here to there. More recently the sound space of my commute has been occupied by thoughts of the war in Iraq. I often listen to the radio and think about the connection between driving and Middle Eastern politics.
For the “A to B” exhibition I will be focusing on sound as a key element of commuting. I will produce an audio map of sounds and stories from the daily commutes of 10-15 participants in Los Angeles and Iraq. The aim of the audio map is to relate the everyday experiences of these two politically connected spaces; the car saturated and oil infatuated freeways of Los Angeles and the demanding, unstable and mundane roads of Iraq. These two spaces are deeply tied and have an intimate, almost familial, dependency and complexity.

The audio map will be produced as an unlimited edition on a multi-track 29 minute CD (the average length of a commute in Los Angeles). Visitors to the FOCA gallery will be encouraged to listen to the CD in the gallery and take a CD with them for their own commute. The sound map will also be available as a MP3 on the internet. Thus the audio map, containing the transitory spaces of Los Angeles and Iraq, will extend even further into the commuting spaces of gallery and its audiences.

(As I was researching this project I came across this photo by Hans Hemmert. The photo evokes the sense of the car as a space of isolation, mystery and performance.)

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