For three months in 2010 I was resident artist at the Rea Garden artist project space in Digbeth Birmingham. The result of the installation was a large scale installation, Visitor Centre, with an accompanying soundtrack, Audio Guide.
The Rea Garden is a derelict industrial site which at one time had been a warehouse for Philips Records. As such, amongst the soil were broken shards of shellac records once stored there. During the residency I conducted a pseudo-archaeological investigation into the site to excavate these fragments (and anything else I found). I also spent the time investigating the area and experimenting with solar powered amplification, field recordings and feedback. A blog detailing my time during the residency can be seen here.
For Visitor Centre I presented the whole site as an installation including: the various open excavations from my dig; a shed-as-museum with a display case containing a record reconstituted from found fragments, and other objects I’d unearthed; A monolith topped with a speaker converted to work as a microphone; and a second shed containing three speakers relaying sounds from the monolith and elsewhere on the site, amplified by solar power. Visitors also had the option to listen to the Audio Guide composition on headphones as they explored the site.
Audio Guide is a site-specific composition made using sounds collected or made on the site during the residency. The sound sources include audio from the mosaic record; field recordings; improvisations using found objects; feedback through and resonance of objects on the site; and experiments with mic technique also recorded at the site.
In 2013 a dubplate of Audio Guide was selected by The Roadside Gallery in West Lancashire to be buried for a year, in a project exploring the degradation of physical objects. This new development furthers the process by re-burying these sounds for a year.