RE-IMAGINED RESIDENCY (3), 2019
ARTISTS WILLIAM FAIRBROTHER & ALBERTO RUIZ SOLER USE VIRTUAL REALITY TECHNOLOGY TO FOCUS ON SONIC AND TACTILE EXPERIENCES
Project: Re-Imagined Residency
Artists: William Fairbrother and Alberto Ruiz Soler
Held and produced by Lighthouse.
Part of: Re-Imagine Europe
ABOUT THE PROJECT
“We used this residency to further our collaborative practice centered on modes of perception. This usually manifests in creating combined sensory experiences and in previous projects we had already begun looking at the relationship between sound and touch.
We expanded our investigation to think about sound and touch not just as experienced from a static/seated position, but to assemble a whole environment comprised of sonic and tactile elements where the participant plays an active role, moving their body through space as a controller in a time and manner of their choosing.
During the residency, we created a prototype centered on experiences of migration. In our research, we have been thinking about migration broadly as a journey towards a better place that is made by many different animals – including humans – motivated by various push and pull factors. These journeys can be challenging and emotionally and physically disruptive.
We focused on the act of a body moving through space from an origin to an ending (or a cyclical route through a space), passing through physical or sonic territories and obstacles along the way which may trigger bodily responses. We incorporated temperature, floor/wall textures as well as freestanding objects in the space to serve as obstacles or delineate different territories or areas to pass through or linger at.
All sound content in the space existed in a corresponding virtual model. Participants wore a pair of specially modified headphones that tracked their location in the space to access these sounds. This technology has enabled us to manipulate sound in a very playful and dynamic way and created new ways of experiencing sound otherwise impossible using speakers. For instance, we were able to create sudden thresholds between sounds and silences in the space and deliver different sounds to the participant according to their height.
As an experience that does not prioritize sight, we have been working from the outset to make it equal in quality for sighted and blind/visually impaired people alike."
– William & Alberto
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
William is an artist and researcher who is interested in ways of perceiving the world from a less human-centered point of view and the role of art in achieving this. He designs work with Homo habilis in mind, our closest evolutionary ancestor and non-human related to us. He is particularly interested in creating physical experiences that prioritize the subordinate senses over vision which dominates the art sector and media-centric world we live in today.
Alberto is a sound artist and composer. He is interested in how people perceive and relate to sound (mostly noise and non-musical sounds) and how people categorize their sonic environment (music/voice/ noise/ threat). He constructs soundscapes and listening spaces through contemporary dance, installations, and generative art. His sonic experiences invite the audience to listen and appreciate sounds in innovative ways to develop our understanding of and relationship with sounds. Alberto is part of several works that tour internationally, with artists such as Igor+Moreno, Lola Maury, Eva Recacha, Hannah Ringham & Glen Neath and Hetain Patel.
ABOUT THE FUNDERS
William and Alberto's Research & Development Residency (Re-Imagined Residency) is part of Re-imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.