‘Sound : Bridge’ is an Artist’s Moving Image study of a vehicular bridge and its resonant, site specific acoustics. The structure spans the Breydon Water Estuary in Great Yarmouth, UK. The film focuses on the sub-structure of the bridge, examining its dank, cave like atmosphere and giant, supporting columns which have the appearance and presence of Megalithic standing stones. The soundtrack records the reverberating bass frequency acoustics of tyres traversing the road joins overhead, which creates a soundscape of hypnotic drum like beats.
The abstract below which relates to SOUND : BRIDGE has been submitted to the Monstrous Geographies: Places and Spaces of Monstrosity, Second Global Conference taking place 15th May – Friday 17th May 2013, Prague, Czech Republic. URL: inter-disciplinary.net/at-the-interface/evil/monstrous-geographies/call-for-papers/
PAPER TITLE: Using cinematics to locate and invoke symbolic archetypes within the built environment
An enquiry into the ontological nature of large scale urban structures and the phenomenological responses we may experience in their presence, encompassing Place & Space Theory, Psychogeography, Sonic Theory, Consciousness Studies, and Neurobiology. The paper and associated short film screening (8 mins) will focus specifically on a colossal urban road bridge which passes over the Breydon Water Estuary on the outskirts of Great Yarmouth, UK. It questions whether industrial sites such as this affect us on a largely mechanistic causational level, or whether more subtle mythical archetypes are at play. It provides a framework for the spectator to engage with urban topography through the mediation of high definition cinema.
The Breydon Bridge site’s dominant ideological signification as utilitarian infrastructure is interrogated and re-coded through the construction of a linear, spatial narrative. The film focuses on the dank sub-structure of the bridge which is likened to the underworld of a tiered universe - evident in primitive cosmologies. The massive supporting columns jutting out of the earth and flowing estuary have the appearance and presence of megalithic standing stones and can be viewed as archetypal symbols of the soul and the axis mundi. The car tyres traversing the road joins on the A12 trunk road above create a soundscape of thudding base frequency notes that mimic the human heartbeat. We can link these reverberating sounds to the practice of shamanic drumming which has been used since ancient times to induce altered states of awareness. These visual and sonic qualia create a hypnotic mood that acts in a metonymic way to invoke deep symbolic resonances which may be neurologically hardwired. Such experiences, it is argued, may never be precisely articulated in written theory due to their impact on the irrational, unconscious mind – they must be felt kinesthetically.
The paper will finally discuss the specificity of viewing high definition film in the contextual setting of a darkened theatre and how this setting can be used to invoke a heightened sense of awareness of the site specific images and sounds presented.
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