Networked_Performance

Live Stage: “433m” at Soundwalk 2011 [us Long Beach]

Xavier Leonard (X.L): 433m — a (dis)Locative sound design at Soundwalk 2011 :: October 1, 2011; 5:00 – 10:00 pm :: East Village Arts District, Long Beach, CA.

433m uses Layar, an Augmented Reality browser for smartphones to transplant the ambient audio experience of one site (San Diego) into the space of another (Downtown Long Beach).

Leonard has taken short field recordings, made along a 433 meter span in San Diego and mapped them onto a 433 meter span in Long Beach. Those recordings are “located” at specific GPS points in both interior and exterior spaces. As audience members traverse the 433 meter stretch, the recordings automatically playback at the assigned geo coordinates along the journey.

“Walking through a place, while listening to audio from a different place, enlivens the experience of both the sound and the space,” says Leonard. “It can turn a walk through a laundromat into an adventure.”

The recordings were made in places where people come together: restaurants, beauty parlors, convenience stores, etc. In Long Beach, they’ll be heard in the same order and relative distance, but they will be placed wherever the mapping of one 433 meter span on top of the other dictates.

The selected areas of the two cities, the 90802 zip code in Long Beach and the 92114 zip code in San Diego are very similar in the demographics of their residents. However the establishments in Long Beach cater to tourists and others from outside the neighborhood, while the San Diego spaces are almost entirely filled with locals. Putting the San Diego audio into the Long Beach settings, in a sense, brings more of the neighborhood inside than is normally there.

The title is a reference to 4’33”, the famous score by John Cage which calls for the instrumentalist to sit before the audience for four minutes and thirty-three seconds, without playing their instrument. Leonard feels that piece permits the audience to pay attention to space and ambient sound in a way he hopes 433m will also encourage.

SoundWalk is an ear-oriented art event produced annually by the Long Beach artist group, FLOOD. The evening operates under the concept of a five-hour audioscopic experience as provided by sound art located in various indoor and outdoor spaces situated in Downtown Long Beach.


Sep 30, 15:49
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