Trashed Conversations

In this one week experimental workshop, we explored the potential of sound and paper to create a theatrical, live performance.

Our core concept was to repurpose trashed paper and reflect on the process of other teams in the workshop. Throughout the week, we collected paper trash from our classmates and recorded their sounds and dialogues as they worked on their own projects. The clips of their conversations and paper noises were mixed into a chaotic track of audio which is ‘released’ when the paper trash is swept. Hence, ‘simulating chaotic conversations through the gesture of sweeping trash’ became our key concept for the performance.

Sweeping is a very intuitive gesture to collect trash paper. To release the sound of this gesture, we attached seven contact mics to various pieces of paper trash. These pieces of trash were then buried amongst the larger pile of paper trash. The vibrations from the broom and paper are captured by the contact mics and this sound is then used to modulate the audio through a vocoder effect. As the paper pile becomes more dense and the contact mics come closer together, the sound is amplified. For the performance, we projected the live video and audio onto a wall so a larger group could view the performance.

 Through this process, we learned how to use the relationship between sound and materials to create meaningful installations as well as how to record, edit, and modulate the playback of sound according to how an object is manipulated. If we were to continue this exploration we would experiment with different ways to connect the contact mics so we could better capture the gesture of the broom.