48 Bags of Sticks | 2015 | Sound installation | ArtSway, The New Forest, UK


48 Bags of Sticks focuses on a particular sound that exists within the environment of a natural soundscape. By removing all other sound, Sian highlights one element that would normally only be heard subconsciously. The work pays homage to Canadian composer and theorist R. Murray Schafer and refers to Bernie Krause’s work in acoustic ecology. Through this work Sian is re-establishing the importance of listening to our existing soundscapes and explores the design of our auditory surroundings. Schafer describes the modern soundscape as ‘eye culture’ and that we often neglect our ears. Selective hearing prescribes that natural sounds become dismissed. In Urban areas the soundscape has become a Lo-Fi environment, natural sounds have become masked by human intervention of sounds and individual sounds can no longer be pinned, this can cause a disruption with an individuals voice, and has resulted in an interior monologue of sound. The audience were invited to walk around the space and in choosing to do so they are designing their own soundscape. The work changed depending on varying factors including; the architecture of the space, the species of tree, the materiality of the sticks, the number of participants within the space and the time (breakage of the sticks).


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