This project began with a curiosity to explore the boundaries where our bodies and sensory systems connect with the outer world and built environments in particular. The idea that our built environments are potentially an extension of our bodies fascinates me because by understanding this relationship we can start to acknowledge that we are bound to our environments in the most intimate way. The experiences afforded to us by our surrounding environments contain qualities that give substance to our lives, and it is critical to place our built environments at the center of this interaction. The reason why this acknowledgment is important is that we apply this way of thinking in our process of building and activating our surrounding environments.
Sound is an invaluable tool that can be used to give new narratives to our surrounding environments; hence it can be applied as a vehicle to mediate a new understanding of the context and qualities of a spatial environment. I find that sound has an ethereal and somewhat magical quality because it can make us aware of our surrounding environment while not having any physical substance or structure. It has the capability to guide us through a space, while highlighting qualities of it (the space) that we haven’t noticed before.
I aimed to use this project as an opportunity to experiment and critically investigate the relationship between sound and spatial environments. By doing so, my goal is to explore the possibilities of how this relationship can be applied to mediate a different and in some cases new meaning to our surrounding everyday environments. This investigation is embedded in the curiosity to understand how this process of mediation can activate new sensory experiences within a space.
I used this project as an opportunity to teach myself Touchdesigner, which is relatively new but groundbreaking software for designing sound visualization. My aim was to use this process as a means to activate a new narrative for a space in my daily environment. The site I chose for this experimentation was the garden at the center of the RCA, because I found it a beautiful space that is sometimes neglected, and saw this as an opportunity to give it a new meaning even if this transformation was a transient one.
BRIGHT MATTER was a result of these processes coming together to create an experience that allowed the audience to have a moment to appreciate and understand the activated environment in a new light.