Mapping the nothing.
While working towards my MFA in 2014, I attempted to produce works which mimicked or transferred the feelings of deep listening and connection I experienced during meditation. I also hoped the works would act as a placebo or a ‘helpful trigger’ for when I was in need of inner calm or peace.
I began researching a means for recording my experiences of peace and calm. I read into Archaeoacoustics and looked at the work of Kristina Anderson and Audrey Samson @ Tassophonics.
I initiated my first recording with clay, holding it in my hands during meditation and pressing my intentions into it, I hoped to mark the clay with the energy of my experience. I then tried mapping the impressed clay and converting the map to a musical scale to play on a mediation chime set. This wasn’t very successful, maybe avant-garde (?), but not very relaxing. I then tried photographing the clay pieces and converting the jpeg’s to sound through an image to sound program (photosounder). But this sounded like someone smashing something, the opposite of my intention. I realised I would need a lot more sound savviness, so decided to try another approach.
I decided to go back to impressing the clay to see if I could create another solution. So again I went into a mediative state, this time with the intention of mapping my feelings in the clay. This led to the creation of some very basic hand shaped vessels, and when I intuitively held them to my ears, I heard the sound of nothingness- similar to the acoustics of a seashell. I liked the serendipitous nature of this process and continued to make a small body of work enhanced with colours and symbols intuited from my experiences of peace and emptiness.
The final tableau’s consist of objects that can be used for both passive and active communication, with what I consider to be a state of nothingness/all-ness.
And this sentence links to a great piece on peace, Wim Wenders and Mary Zournazi, present a radio program, ‘Inventing Peace’ @Radio Tonic on Radio National Australia.