The loudest sound in the room experienced very quietly
Sound installation. 2015.
40" x 22" x 22". Microphone, reclaimed speaker cone, PA amplifier, VU meteracrylic, metal, electronics.

 


The loudest sound in the room experienced very quietly
is part of a series of works exploring relationships between microphones, speakers, and surrounding acoustic environments through controlled, self-generating microphone feedback. Amplifying and aestheticizing the acoustic inactivity between technological "inputs" and "outputs" - stand-ins for their corporeal correlates, the ear and mouth - the notion of a causal sound producing object is challenged, and questions are posed as to the status of the‘amplified’. By building flawed technological systems and nullifying their intended potential for communication, the ear is turned towards the empty space between components; to the unique configurations of each amplifying assemblage.
 
In The loudest sound in the room experienced very quietly, an endless feedback loop between microphone, public address system amplifier, and speaker cone is enclosed within a soundproof aquarium. A communication system disrupted and turned against itself, the sound level within the enclosure reaches an ear-damaging 120dB, approximately the loudness of a car horn at close distance.

 

photos by Emily Gan.