The hems [alleyways] make up a vast majority of the urban fabric of HCMC. District 4, adjacent to District 1, the commercial and business hub of HCMC, is a densely populated district, and is characterised by its hem infrastructure. District 4, forms the focus of this video and accompanying soundscape. This is an endangered space, as the city develops and tries to ‘modernise’. Ironically the lifeblood of the hems is regeneration and change, but it is on a scale determined by social networks and their relations, not through maximising land values. The project is part of an ongoing investigation of these hems, and aims to develop the most detailed and comprehensive document of the architectural experience, before it is lost to commercial redevelopment.
Sound artist Thierry Bernard-Gotteland, uses MAX/MSP to create a generative soundscape, using audio recordings captured from the same hems. The weaving in and out of natural sounds and their fictional distortions the audio and video combined aim to re-present a unique urban space, as found and interpreted by the artists.