a video shot by my friend eric filion (vj nokami) for a live version of 'greyfields', which was performed @ the spark festival in minneapolis as well as pixilerations in providence.
our high-tech rig involved me pushing eric around in a wheelchair, courtesy of kelly.
an excerpt of the accompanying audio can be found here:
Greyfield land is a term used in the United States and Canada to describe economically obsolescent, outdated, failing, moribund and/or underutilized real estate assets or land. The term was coined in the early 2000s as a way to describe the sea of empty asphalt that often accompanied these sites, which may also be referred to as "dead malls" or "ghostboxes".
'Greyfield' is an ongoing project which investigates the acoustic trace of these spaces; its most recent incarnation is based on sounds recorded in Toronto's downtown underground pedestrian network. This network, known as the PATH system, is recognized as the world's largest underground shopping complex. It traverses the entire downtown core and interconnects many notable buildings, including Mies van der Rohe's austere (but magnificent) Toronto-Dominion Centre complex and Santiago Calatrava's BCE Place galleria.
The recording sessions for the project occur late at night or on Sundays, when the network is virtually empty. At these times, one hears only the omnipresent hum of the climate control systems and electronic banking and communications networks accompanying the soporific haze of omnipresent muzak. The differences in the various building's acoustics seems to be accentuated by their emptiness.
My fascination with the PATH network stems from this haunting/haunted atmosphere - this high tech cathedral of branding stripped entirely of its human element..
Though the intent and sound of the pieces may reference sound art, the techniques employed in the creation of the pieces are more akin to that of a dub-style remix. The freshly-recorded sounds are downloaded to the computer, then looped and fed through an array of custom-designed audio-manipulation tools. The recordings are improvised on location as a kind of soundtrack to the space's apocalyptically empty, surreal cinema.
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