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Nova Scotia Soundmap

Nova Scotia Soundmap (45°14'38"N 63°31'35"W) is a sculpture that I created as a part of the inaugural exhibition at the SUB TEI Galerie in Berlin, Germany from June 22-24, 2018. The work consists of a 50cm x 50cm map of a Nova Scotia riverbank with 6-channel audio of the sounds that may be found in that same area. Together, the audio and visual create a 1:1 map of the site.

I visited the site in Nova Scotia at the beginning of June 2018. I photographed and measured the site, then explored it to find all of the potential sounds. To me, creating a 1:1 map feels like an act of exploration, probing for hidden secrets and details. It is also an act of destruction: after carefully documenting the undisturbed visuals of the site, I explored it with my ears and with my hands. I dug up rocks, felt through the mud, and pulled on grasses in order to find as many of the potential sounds of the site as possible. Though I replaced what material I could, the act of finding these sounds irreparably altered the site.

From the sounds that I recorded, I assembled six files of lightly-processed audio, each corresponding to a section of the map (when I make my next soundmap, I would like to use many more channels, so that my audio detail is closer to my visual detail). Each of the six sections is a different length, so that the audio from each region continually intersects in new ways.

Below is a look at how the sculpture was made.

Creating the visual component. I drew freehand elevation markings on a photo of the site, then reproduced it in colour pencil. The photo and map are at a 1:1 scale to the actual site.

The back of the sculpture. There are four MP3 players running the six channels of audio, six speakers, and two batteries to ensure that the MP3 players can continue running.

The front of the completed sculpture.

The sculpture in place at the SUB TEI Galerie.


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