In SituMA Sound Art Degree Project, LCC, London, December 2019
In Situ is an audio-visual installation that explores perception of the inaudible and the invisible of the Elephant and Castle roundabout through mapping and sound composition. It is composed of hand-drawn maps and an audio loop that reflect a conceptual form of the multiple inaudible sounds and spaces of the area. This part of South London is known for its transient character and loud sounds, dominated by sirens and engines. Often drowned by the urban noise, In Situ is the result of a research that focuses on E&C’s inherent, yet underlying sounds.
As part of the process, I took field recordings, analogue photography and field notes, using them as tools to engage with and understand the area : Where am I standing in relation to what I hear and see? The project questions the complexities of space and sound and the multiple layers from which they are composed.
The focus was on the five main points of intersection surrounding the E&C roundabout, all of which are composed of a complex sonic atmosphere, where layers of rhythms, vibrations, densities, frequencies and temporalities overlap and resonate through space. The maps and the audio - a journey through rhythm and the three layers of E&C: its underground, surface and up-above - question borders and limitations in a place filled with man-made boundaries.
The body experiences the sensory as a way of learning the environment and positioning itself in time and space, navigating the in-between state of things, where the act of repetition and revisiting spaces becomes essential.
‘As I follow the Elephant’s blue metal line situated on the roundabout, its shadows beam in the sunlight. I then come across a brown hat. The man silently sat there, as if protecting his ground. I’ve often wandered through the market stalls and smaller streets at E&C and have experienced a sense of singularity, navigating from one territory, one story to the next. All of the spaces, the fleetingness of sounds and images, made me think of turning the knob on the radio. Tuning into many languages, sounds, music, odors, commercial goods, foods and people. I wondered where the cowboy would sit if he were in a more homogenous, more alien space like Oxford Street, somewhere I find that gives the opposite sensation of E&C’s territorial intimacy.’