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Entries in air (2)


Long Wave Synthesis

The Sonic Acts festival which starts next week is a very unique festival in the Netherlands which focuses not only on music and art, but also on science & society. One can expect lectures by theorists, but also installation art and various performances by artists focusing on the same theme. This year, that theme is The Geological Imagination. “How much do we actually know about the ground beneath our feet?”. The constantly increasing influence of the human race on the world. Climate, nature, night… Everything.
(footage from the preparations of Long Wave Synthesis)
This year, one of the most promising works is Raviv Ganchrow’s Long Wave Synthesis. A huge land-art scale sound art installation that investigates infrasound, and probes the relations between how we perceive the landscape and long-wave vibrations. 
(footage from an earlier version)
Infrasound is the range of frequencies below the actual hearing threshold. Like all sound waves, infrasound is vibrating air, the only difference is that this sound is just very low frequency. Ganchrow’s work focuses on the experience that we might not be able to hear the actual slow vibrations of air, but the “pressure wave”, and objects in the field which might vibrate with that low frequency. Just below the threshold of hearing.

According to Ganchrow, infrasound is what connects the skies, oceans and earth. “Micro-movements in the earth crust can translate and arrive at mountain ranges. These move a nanometer backwards and forwards. That movement translates to a movement of air, that air produces a tone.” It’s a tone below the threshold of hearing, but still there’s a sensation of it, as it can shape the clouds coming over that mountain range, for example. You can view an interview with Raviv explaining infrasound here:

Sonic Acts starts next Thursday evening the 26th of February, and ends on Sunday evening the 1st of March. The field trip to Long Wave Synthesis is on Sunday at 15.00 (more info).

If I should live in the past, I wouldn't need a memory.

Ronald van der Meijs is an Amsterdam-based Dutch artist, designing from architectural principles. In his autonomous work, architecture physical objects and sound come together.

I saw his work “If I Should Live in the Past, I Wouldn’t Need a Memory” last week at Arti in Amsterdam. Referencing to the unhealthy situation miners in charcoal mines work in, the installation consists of two giant lung-like structures, made out of bags that slowly inflate and deflate, creating a crackly sound. Next to the lungs hangs a birdcage, which refers to the miners who took a canary into the mines. If the situation was unsafe, and toxic gases spread through the mines, the bird would suffocate and the miners would know they’d need to get out as quickly as possible.

The structure reacts as you get close to it. If you stand in between the two lungs, the crackling sound of the lungs inflating is quite intense. Interesting work bringing together interaction, sound and sculpture.