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Quinine
You enter a room with a slightly haunted but not unpleasant soundscape. Your entry draws a sound out of the murk and begins to bring it in focus - at some point you might realize the sound is a word. As you continue to walk, your movement into the room alters the sound’s pitch, rhythm and/or volume. You can mold the pitch or be attacked by it; the sound is distorted by your presence. You might climb a small staircase , swivel in a chair, etc - in each case, your movement alters the delivery of a different spoken word. The base sound you hear when you are not interacting is simply the 5 base words with pitch extended so they sound like wind.

Quinine
presents an environment in which the inanimate makes its presence felt in a more frontal manner than expected. The contemporary network of humans and machines offers new possibilities for communication; at the same time one can feel bombarded or watched by this network. Both potentials are manifest in Quinine.

In the process, Quinine explores the slippery relationship between language and experience, experimenting in particular with the performative aspect of communication. Language is presented as a sensory experience; experience/activity is offered as the source of occasionally articulable ideas. There are phrases to be made from the 5 words driving the piece ­ but most visitors succumb to experiential combinations of behavior and sound built into the interactions. Narrative logic is one approach to sorting this database, but its grip on experience is no firmer than non-linear readings.

A starting point was my own experience of ideas/language surfacing unrelated to physical actions I perform. Where did the ideas come from? Is it the social construct of language that imposes these thoughts, or are inanimate objects actually talking to me?

Here are some stills, a video of a typical passage through the installation, and an excerpt of Matt Johnstone's dance improvisation in the space:


Quinine: Rough Demo Video (7 meg)
walker: Enrique Castrejon, dancer: Matt Johnstone
 
Quinine: Rough Dance Improv (4 meg)
dancer: Matt Johnstone


Los Angeles Times Article
 
 
© 2004 Steven A. Heller. All Rights Reserved.
 
© 2004 Steven A. Heller. All Rights Reserved.
 
© 2004 Steven A. Heller. All Rights Reserved.
 
© 2004 Nina Waisman. All Rights Reserved.
 
© 2004 Nina Waisman. All Rights Reserved.