Spatial Sound

Untitled (2018)

Vanessa Li

The dimension of time is crucial to our understanding of patterns and understanding of context. It is an aspect of sound which might be considered an intrinsic, objective physical property from which we cannot escape: for example the attribution of meaning to sound is intrinsically bound by time. But if we could escape from the confines of time, what would that mean for our understanding of the world? Could we tease out hidden information or extract new meaning from sounds when experienced ‘outside’ of time’?

As artist-in-residence at the Spatial Sound Institute, Vanessa Li builds an interactive sonic environment wherein participants can explore these questions through sound and movement. A soundscape of recognizable sounds will provide an anchor from which participants can navigate. ‘Time’ will then be made subject to the will of the participant who can slow down, speed up, stop, or move backwards in the temporal domain. Familiar sounds will transform into foreign, unknown entities in the space. Participants will be challenged to develop their own system of listening, and to interpret the existence of sounds by the collective movement of all individuals in the space. As multiple people navigate the soundscape, their movements create a dynamic, sonic collage, spontaneously composed from different temporal perspectives.