Hearing Shadows – an audio-visual installation Making the invisible audible By Jean Martin and Wil Pennycook
It started with images of shadows and light. Wil’s photos intrigued Jean. Wil responded by creating moving images. Time became a core element of the work. We developed the work through a series of open conversations over 12 months – listening, looking, suggesting to each other. The result is a collaborative work of moving images for two screens and 4-channel musicalised sound. New ideas emerged over time, e.g. expanding the flatness of the projected images spatially onto two screens. This spatialisation, both of images and sound, invites visitors to move around and explore the piece in their own ways. We were both fascinated by layers and layering: visual and sonic layers coming together; layers of conscious/unconscious processes; layers of memory and experience. All forming, coming together and pulling apart. The visual work was all made within a domestic setting, within four walls. The music echoed the feeling of being closed in and began to develop a more sinister quality. This raised the question of whether electroacoustic music techniques gravitate aesthetically towards the dark. We accepted this as a possible resonance with the sub-conscious, the dark layers of our soul. We embraced the random and noticed what emerged – an eminently psychanalytical technique. In this waiting, control over what happens has to be ceded. But responsibility is still needed; we have to be present, aware, engaged. Staying, without memory or desire.
In Karlsruhe, we will show a one-screen two-channel sound version of the piece, accompanied by a reflective description of the creative process of collaboration.