seismic trail

2018, sound sculpture/object, 40cm x 13.8cm x 12.5cm


The performative sound sculpture ‘seismic trail’ developed following a research trip in Dakar (SE) in 2016 under guidance of Mique Eggermond.
Performed live and broadcasted by the nomadic radio station ‘électromagnetic mobile’ hosted by Paul Devens, this work became part of the ‘off program’ of the ‘African Contemporary Art Biennial: Dak’art’ in 2018. In 2016, on the island ‘Ile de Mar’ in the south of Dakar, a collection of maps drawn by the locals lead to a research based on spe- cific features that contribute to one’s orientation and spacial remembrance of a known place.
Hereby the outline of the island or street names seemingly became less important in comparison to details found on the island like trees (the Baobab tree is considered sacred), communal buildings or religious monuments and the approximate space between them. Spacial understanding is linked to memory and objects which connect one place with another. Also given directions rather contained characteristics of the environment like pavement surfaces, color of houses or other irregular features instead of street or village names. The work ‘seismic trail’ creates maps along with its journey. Instead of showing territorial borders or infrastructure such as roads, railroads and buildings only one line is drawn onto the middle of a paper roll. A build seismograph is placed on the ground of a mini van and traces its horizontal movements while driving through the streets of Dakar. The frequency that is created and then captured by a smartphone’s lens is turned through the App ‘phono paper’ into a changing sound. This sound frequency is played back almost immediately by a mega phone through the bus window. Sharp turns, rough roads or the smoothness of renovated streets reshape the soundscape continuously. Hereby the driving bus becomes a moving audio sculpture itself through the documentation of its own movement.
A spacial exploratory map is created that can be played at any time and becomes thereby a map of a journey that can be under- stood through a single sound frequency.