Auscultation I

Sound installation, 4 channels with transducers, 2011.

Creative Media Centre (CMC) designed by Daniel Libeskind, Hong Kong.
16/12/2011 – 30/4/2012

Auscultation I explores the concept of sonic architecture and the production of a particular sound quality resulting from the inter-relationships between a built space, a sound environment and social practices. Based on the idea that qualities of sound are not inherent to the object, but are shaped by a perceptive act, this site-specific installation focuses on a sensitive practice of sound through the set up of conditions for a focused listening over a long period of both recorded and natural sound events.
The act of listening is highlighted in the Latin etymology of the term auscultation and it also refers directly to the neologism “mediate auscultation” created by Renée Laennec in his treatise published in 1819 dealing with his invention of the stethoscope and its usage.
In Auscultation I, the built space plays the role of a sensitive membrane that equally emits and receives sounds. Walls, pipes, lifts, electrical system and appliances are auscultated with contact microphones on surfaces of the building and pick up coils, which receive and amplify electro-magnetic fields. These recorded sounds are then diffused intermittently through the walls of the building itself with transducers creating a new intangible space.
The temporally and spectrally processed sounds merge and resonate along the direct sounds of the environment, articulating a new architectural and listening space.