╦╦═─ LIC railway area, NYC Research Visit

August 22  – September 14, 2018

The rapidly transforming LIC railway area on the western Queens and Brooklyn border offers quite some spaces for experimenting with sound and vibration in relation to urban life and lifeways, urban form, and critical urban thinking. Through acoustic exploration, conversation and collective performance I have shared interests in the transformativity of (sonic) vibrations and the idea of infrastructure noise and synthetic sound yielding rifts in the perception and experience of urban transformation. When attempting to record a metropolitan area in transformation, meaning gets lost in the noise of a process that selects, adds, alters or interprets.

In my research project I consider fieldrecording as a performative tool for sonic abstraction, hereby opening up to a (re-) negotiation of urban transformation. Through abstraction of sound and place, I attempt to break in, to cut through complexity and to illuminate paths that don’t find words or image in on-going processes of urban development.

For the NYC explorations I combined a multi-channel field recorder with a portable synthesizer and different types of microphones to experiment with on-site performative processing or the manipulation of live (sonic) vibrations. This mixing of tools forwarded a robust engagement with (sonic) vibrations (human and nonhuman alike) of the project area. After a short period of testing, I wanted to crack things open and I decided to make it part of a collaborative acoustic exploring with Brooklyn based sound artist Johann Diedrick. The most of the time I played in the open space of the LIC railway area. Focusing on sound and vibrations in relation to space only. The recordings challenge dominant sonic approaches to urban planning and design. Situated at the intersection between sound art, architectural and urban analysis, they open up to performative practices across subject/object, human/non-human,individual/collective borders of what can be described as a (sonic) vibrational matrix.

A visit to and supported by the KU Leuven Architecture NY-hub.

Johann Diedrick & Caroline Claus @ Greenpoint, Brooklyn NYC