listening through a small plastic box

sound installation. 2015 | acrylic box, microphones, reclaimed speaker cone, vu meter, electronics, headphones.

Using a procedural yet nonsensical amplification chain, a live stream of the gallery soundscape is sent into a clear acrylic box containing electronic amplification components and a single speaker cone. As the sound of the surrounding room is amplified within the acrylic box, it reflects in all directions off of the box’s surfaces, accentuating and dampening various frequencies due to the natural resonance of the container. The resonant re-amplification is captured through a small suspended microphone and sent to a set of headphones which are available to gallery visitors.

Through this roundabout process, the gallery’s sonic environment is spatially displaced into the acrylic box, only to re-immerse the listener in it: an act of triple super-imposition of simultaneous adjacent spaces (the room, the box, the listener). By presenting a re-configured acoustic situation – equal parts austere, self-reflexive, and absurd – the listener’s experience of sound is revealed as a complex collaboration of natural, physical, electronic, and perceptual agencies.

by adam basanta