Nostalgia for the Here and Now is pervasive: a feeling that what we have is unsustainable and disappearing.
This installation combines environmental sounds, spoken or sung lists of loved possessions along with objects found in the streets: an archaeological trove of relics from our present. As if someone from the future has gathered together memories of our soundscape, along with our quotidian objects, both valued and discarded, as a record of how we lived and what we cared about.
Location: The Art and Technology Program in Building 10a, Nolan Park, Governors Island
Open to the public from 11am to 5pm Weekends
Artist Day: Saturday September 10, 2022
PERFORMANCE: OCTOBER 29, 2022 @ 3 PM
As a 70 year old person I know about nostalgia for past times and places. But I notice that nostalgia for the here and now is pervasive: a feeling that what we have is disappearing fast. Our everyday lives are lived almost as a dream, where waking up means acknowledging that our way of life may not last much longer and is in any case unsustainable.
This audio/visual installation is an archaeology of sounds and objects from this present time. It combines field-recordings of sounds from here and now with everyday found objects: a collection of relics from our present. As if someone from the future gathered together memories of how our soundscape used to be, along with our quotidian objects, both valued and discarded, as a record of how we lived and what we cared about.
My perspective in this work is to examine the small things that make up our lives, those everyday details that are important to us and through which we can glimpse the huge and overwhelming challenges that face us.I interviewed a diverse selection of the public and asked them two questions.
The first was: “What sound in your environment would you miss most if it disappeared tomorrow?”
Sound is omnipresent and represents the ecological mesh we exist in but don’t always take into account. Asking this simple question of people (including visitors to the installation) allows us to ask ourselves what are the “soundmarks” in our life and to become aware of our own part in the acoustic environment. I then recorded the environmental sounds that people named, as exactly as possible.
The second question I asked was: “What object do you most care about – something you can’t imagine living without?”
We are intimately connected to our possessions and we feel great stress when they are lost to flood, fire, migration and other familiar crises. I would like – in a small way – to provoke a reconsideration of whether we need them or not.I also collected some of the detritus of our lives – objects dropped or forgotten in the street – as traces of our existence and what was once valued but is now waste.
My photographs of found objects form the visual aspect of this installation. The audio element is my field recordings of people’s selected sounds, recorded interviews with people and my own voice chanting or singing the list of objects and sounds that they value. Much has depended on chance – what objects I found on the ground and what sounds people choose for me to record.
Thank you to everyone I interviewed: Barbara, Diane, Simon, Iris, Cassia, Marcus, Ahmet, Stephen, Dave, Marina, Sue, Nancy, Tom, Irem, Stuart, Thrace, Cathy, Kathy, Clive, Francoise, Maureen, Emil, Mum and Dad, Barry, Sheetal.
Viv Corringham is a New York based British vocalist, composer and sound artist, active since the late 1970s. Her work includes concerts, soundwalks, workshops and installations, exploring people’s sense of place and the link with personal history and memory. She has received international recognition and her work has been presented in twenty six countries on five continents.
Educational background includes an MA Sonic Art with Distinction from Middlesex University, London, England and a BA Theatre Design from Nottingham Trent University, England. She is a certified teacher of Deep Listening, having studied and worked with composer Pauline Oliveros.
Awards: She is a 2012 and 2006 McKnight Composer Fellow. Other grants and awards have come from the English and Irish Arts Councils, Jerome Foundation, Harvestworks NY, Jazz Services UK, Millennium Funding UK, London Arts Board, Chisenhale Awards, Creative Partnerships, Awards for All and Meet the Composer.
Work has been presented in venues including Hong Kong Arts Centre, Fonoteca Nacional de Mexico, Issue Project Room New York, Onassis Centre Athens, Institute of Contemporary Art London, Serralves Museum Portugal, Taipei University Taiwan, Ohrenhoch Sound Gallery Berlin, Shantou University China, Bangalore, Calcutta and Delhi universities, Ftarri Tokyo and Tempo Reale Florence.
Invited Artist Residencies include soundpocket Hong Kong; Harvestworks NYC; Srishti Bangalore, Emily Harvey Foundation Venice; Montalvo Art Center CA; Guild Hall East Hampton NY, Memorial University Newfoundland; Cal State University; Sound Meetings Greece; Cobh Art Centre Ireland; Radio Papesse Florence; Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art Portugal; NAISA Toronto; Soundworks Cork Ireland; Deep Listening Institute NY and Binaural Media Portugal.
Articles about her work have appeared in many publications, including In the Field (UK), Leonardo Music Journal (US), Walking from Scores (Belgium), Art of Immersive Soundscapes (Canada), Organised Sound (UK), Musicworks (Canada), Catskill Made (US), Playing With Words (UK) and For Those Who Have Ears (Ireland).
Recordings are available on Innova, Flaming Pines, Zeromoon, Farpoint, Linear Obsessional, FMR, Slowfoot, NoMansLand, ARC Music, MASH, Slam, Rhiannon, Jungle Records, Emanem, Move, Artship and Third Force.
“Three tracks in particular are musically impressive: firstly, long, ornamented vocal notes perfectly punctuated by the incisive, stately percussion of a woodpecker’s hammering. Later, Corringham creates a chordal drone in sync with with a close-up bee, accompaniment for a bird’s soliloquy. And at 3am she’s channelling an ancient crone, splitting vocal tones in some feeble but essential ritual prayer. All of this is acoustic and for real, just a singer in the woods.” (review of “On the Hour in the Woods- Viv Corringham in The Wire)
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