Between Play by: Ashley Bedet
Interlude evolved as a word to mean the brief period of play between scenarios — often temporarily entertaining in variance to what occurs before or after. Inter is between and Ludum is play. Interludium in medieval latin became Interlude in middle english and bringing us to the present day word which provides a pleasant divergence between differing situations. Capturing the physicality of sound may seem at once imperceptibly easy for those with hearing, but collecting sound in other ways requires experimentation. In the spirit of this experimentation my concept design for between play is to involve students from Western Canada High School in this endeavour through a series of workshops to culminate into a final work.
In this project, through workshops offered to Western Canada High School students, I plan to work with participating youth by engaging them through a series of educational workshops and finally working with them in my art practice in site specific audio and cymatic artworks that relate directly to the 17th Avenue construction. The workshop structure is intended to provide youth with a brief history of contemporary sound and performance art practices, as I facilitate this art project. I propose to provide 3 intensive workshops available to students by which I hope will not only cultivate a final interesting piece of artwork but also a conversation about contemporary sound and performance art practices here on one of the noisiest most captivating parts of the city. The intended structure is below:
Workshop I | Introduction to sound and its performativity
Focus: introduce the attention and activity of listening to the aural components in our given environment. Brief history of the evolution of ambient music and the exercise of deeply listening to one’s place. This introduction will start with listening to that which is close to our bodies and how humans are receptive to the audible. Consideration of the possibility of silence.
Exercise: Write listening scores and circulate them amongst peer group. Read aloud and record for CJSW snippets. Key topics: Deep listening, ASMR, anthrosphere, John Cage, 3:33, radio plays and soundscapes.
Workshop II | The aural pun and sounds that intervene
Focus: Explain the concept of an aural pun, something that sounds one way and evolves to produce an entirely different reaction. Physical examples of how sound is garnered in multiple artworks by artists around the world.
Exercise: Gather field recordings with students around 17th Ave of construction and environment. Key Topics: Phillip Glass’s The Rain of Applause, Croatian Sea Organ, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller
Workshop III | The physics of sound
Focus: Explain the physicality of sound and the basic structure of cymatics. Introduce music notation as a concept to be played with. Present students with their mixed audio from previous workshop.
Exercise: Make cymatic readings with sand and particles on large sidewalk square sized pieces of cyanotype paper. Play edited audio from previous workshop on upturned speakers with students, pausing and continuing the mix as students see fit to properly expose cyanotype to sun. Afterwards rinse with water in school darkroom to develop. The resulting legacy piece is a series of cymatic cyanotypes made in collaboration with the high school students in response to the intermittent change on infrastructure by final cymatic cyanotypes will be displayed at a place TBD.
The record of the change is important, however in the case of sound and its great nuances, I firmly believe the physical object cannot stand alone in representing this change. Within my original proposal I included working with students at Western Canada High School to engage in a dialogue about the prospects, possibilities and opportunities for both sound and performance art in the context of the site of construction within their community. I maintain that fortifying this relationship is the heart of this project. The workshops in conjunction with each of my experiments in gathering cymatic readings of the construction, to both share, engage and educate youth on the possibilities of contemporary art in a positive manner, but also provide materials and information about how these contemporary art practices may be accessible to them too. Rather than making a monumental object, my vision drives towards creating a series of exchanges between I as an artist and the students, as a stakeholder in the experience of this particular block of the 17th Ave. To share ideas, thoughts, and to create a material result together in response to the construction is at the heart of this proposal, which is why I am excited by willingness of Sled Island Festival to help broaden the scope of this conversation. To call this project explicitly an interlude would be incorrect, such experimentation is the spirit of the messiness of any growth or change (as is apparent by the good fortune to live in a city where infrastructure such as roads and sidewalks may be developed and replaced) – this project is an interludium, a state between the our usual states of play.
'Between Play' represents #thecREativeRealm 'Block Three' located 5th-6th Street on 17th Avenue SW. Work will be featured in Sled Island Festival Visual Arts component between June 20-24, 2018. Project may be featured as part of CJSW contemporary art show titled, Art AF.