Pirouette
Sound installation. 2015.
5’ x 5’ x 6’. Microphone, 7 speaker cones, wood, electronics.

 

 

Pirouette 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 Pirouette, a microphone rotates slowly, like a life-sized ballerina atop a music box, bringing it in proximity to seven mounted speaker cones. As the microphone hovers over each speaker in sequence, a tuned feedback melody emerges. Throughout nine full rotations, a skeletal version of the main theme from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet can be heard.

 

photos by Emily Gan.