Parallel Situations

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Semi-separated rooms partitioned by Shoji.

This piece originated as two simultaneous stereo recordings. The 2 tracks were recorded in the same time period, but at different locations- in two adjacent rooms of a Japanese building. Layers of shoji –sliding walls/ doors, made out of wood and paper, separated the rooms. The purpose of these is not to separate and provide closed spaces for the people inhabiting them, but rather to act like “filters”, which lets interior and exterior communicate with each other. These recordings are from a sparse and minimally decorated temple in Kyoto, Japan. The temple is called Shoran-in. It is a temple that is used daily and by many people of different religions. People go here to sit and think, listen and relax.

These recordings are part of a larger audible survey that focuses on how we navigate experience through the changes in luminosity of architectural structures and the acoustical environments they conceive, expand, and reveal. This production relates to the need to occupy space and how space that has been occupied illustrates cultural patterns of behavior.

For example, the use of open and semi-open patio structures to create an artificial and emotional space for nature to be concealed and controlled in the privacy of the home.

The patio as an important element within Mexican architecture expresses the social, economic and political relations that have influenced this architecture whether it be indigenous, colonial Spanish or pre-fabricated American forms of construction. The result of such construction provides a living-open area that appears to be private and isolated but it is constantly encroached by the acoustical incidences that spill from the material world, or in this project with the use of shoji in Japanese architecture and how it accentuates these incidences, despite the forms of construction or their original intended use.

Through the employment of space as social beings we underline the phenomenon of “use” or “to use” as the behavioral characteristic of human experience, such as in the structuring of tenement block formations, around a shared green or concert-covered area. An area that expresses an imperative connection to nature, in part abstract as well as inchoate, but nevertheless complex in its desire to form behavioral patterns that activate the architecture, even if these patterns expand from the original intentions of the architect.

Overall, the project is invested in the audible overlaps that occur and become part of any public or private location or situation we occupy. This survey reflects on the various degrees to which people need, or think they need, to create private areas. It records how these designated areas as they become private and completely isolated, they become partially invaded and trespassed by surrounding, simultaneous, parallel and constantly occurring audible situations.

Duration 9.25 min.