Info upon me and my work can now be found at:
Opened 6th May 2010, closing 5th June 2010. In conjunction with PLACE Built Environment Centre and Belfast City Council.
Sound installation to be heard outside of: Place, Fountain Street; Kellys Cellar, Bank Street; Bittles Bar, Victoria Street; Cloth Ear, Waring Street; Waterfront Hall, Lanyon Place and BBC, Ormeau Avenue.
Installations active between 09:30 and 17:30 everyday except Thursdays when the works run until 21:00.
Belfast’s forgotten rivers, waterways and associated industries have been given a renewed presence within the city. Six sound installations have been assembled at six different sites across the city. Each installation can be heard out in the street, presented as an enhancement of the everyday sound space. Each site has been selected because it is situated upon, or by, the previous route of one of Belfast’s three central rivers. Two of these rivers, the Farset and Blackstaff, no longer flow over ground, they are constricted to large pipes running beneath the city. The third river, the Lagan, is still a prominent feature in Belfast but was once much wider. Through deepening the Lagan’s channel, a great deal of land has been reclaimed and built upon.
The sound presented by each installation is a reimagining of what the city’s buried and constricted rivers, and waterways might once have sounded like. Each of the six sites would have had a different relationship with it’s respective water source and this is reflected in the delivered sound. In order to achieve the reimaging, locations in Northern Ireland with similar water features to those previously in Belfast have been visited, recorded and re-released into Belfast’s sound space.
A printed copy of the map can be ascertained at either PLACE or the hosting venues. A PDF version of this map can be found here.
Project conception, audio production and installation by Matt Green.
Graphic design and video installation by Ryan OReilly.
Advice and guidance by Ruairí Ó Baoill.
Culture NI article:
- Blackstaff is Belfast, a work in collaboration with Stuart Sloan, was in the juried exhibit at Ormeau Baths (see earlier post).
- I conducted a talk in the ’Entertainment and Mobility’ session on the Saturday (28/08/2009) under the heading The Urban Aesthetic and Positive mobile intervention. Within the talk i went through a few of my works with a particular focus upon how sound delivered through locative media can be used to accentuate aspects of real environments.
- A presentation of media from a number of my works was shown in Dublin (ISEA travelled outside of Belfast quite a fair bit) within the Sound-Space-Network exhibition held within the Broadcast Gallery, DIT. For this demonstration i produced a short locative media experimentation entitled A Street just like this one which overlaid the sound of Antrim Road, Belfast onto Portland Row, Dublin (the street in front of the gallery). I had identified that both streets were of similar dimensions, with a similar number of tributaries which were correspondingly distributed. The piece demonstrated that even though the streets were socially and culturally very different, the sound of these two streets could still be confused because the soundscape was dominated by insignificant, featureless sound such as traffic. Hence, the work was vaguely political.
- C13 Digital Arts Collective, which i had established in response to discussions at the ISEA pre symposium in the Autumn of 2008, were involved in two art projects. C13 are described as follows:
C-13 are an ensemble of sound artists, musicians, programmers, animators, architects, visual artists, photographers and filmmakers. The group was founded in 2009. Their collaborative practice challenges traditional media archetypes and explores the tensions between site, medium, artist and audience.
The first contribution to ISEA 2009 was an intervention staged at Ormeau Baths where members of the group hijacked one of the works within the ISEA juried exhibit, adding to it or distorting it or reframing it. The second contribution was the coordination of Outside ISEA which was a four day rolling exhibition within a freight container positioned out the front of the Waterfront Hall, Belfast where the main elements of ISEA were taking place. In all, there were 20 different artists, or groups of artists, who showed work within the period. For a detailed timetable go to
. This opportunity was afforded by PS2 Gallery, Belfast.
C13: Richard Davis, Stuart Sloan, Gareth Andrews, Phil Magorrian, Acitore Artezione, Suzan Holmes, Alana Avery, Keith Winter and myself.
Locative media sound walk accompanied by gallery based video installation exhibited within the ISEA 2009 juried exhibit held at Ormeau Baths, Belfast from 7th of August until the 29th, 2009.
The Blackstaff River, a principal tributary of the Lagan River, flows underground from the south of the city to the centre. The majority of the river was culverted (constricted to artificial channels beneath the city) in the late 19th century. A second major culverting operation was undertaken in the 1990s.
Prior to Belfast’s industrialisation, the river coursed through woodland, parkland, meadows and natural flood planes. By 1881 the river had become severely polluted and was regarded as an obstruction to urban growth. A news piece from the time commented: “All agree that the Blackstaff must be buried out of sight”.
‘Blackstaff is Belfast’ seeks to unearth the Blackstaff River. The river is to be rehabilitated and reinstated. It shall, once again, flow freely through the heart of the city. The inflictions of modernity that had rendered the Blackstaff River grotesque shall be remedied. The river will once more become a source of growth and beauty.
Visitors to the host gallery, Ormeau Baths are invited to undertake a short augmented walk along the course of the river. Through the use of mobile technologies, a participant will be able to hear the sounds of the river flowing underground. As the walk continues history shall be reversed and the river will begin to surge back on to the land. The walk will culminate at the site where the Blackstaff River had previously entered the Lagan. Here the participant will experience the river as it was before urban settlement: a time of natural harmony.
Video depicts a walk through the Gasworks portion of the work. Overlaid sound is an example of what the participant would hear through their headphones as they traverse the augmented site.
Three week excursion from Guangzhou, China to Lhasa, Tibet upon the recently re-instated train service in the month of July, 2009. Undertaken in colloboratin with a group of western Artists (Uk, USA and Austrilia) and a group of English Language post graduates from the Unversity of Guangzhou. Two Art exhibtions where held with in the three week term, one in Guangzhou and one in Lhasa, displaying work created in response to the trip. The original proposal of this project outlined it as follows:
Moving Cultures is a multicultural, cross-disciplinary, collaborative research project based primarily within the ‘civic space’ of the moving train. The project will begin and conclude in the urban centre of Guangzhou, China. The trip occurs over 19-days, including a 10 day stay in Lhasa, in July 2009. The project is devised through equal organisational input from the Australian and Chinese contingent and is undertaken by invited participants.
My contribution was the aural documentation of the trip. I collated a very large catalogue of sound from all the places we visited. I also recorded discussions between the group members on the journey’s themes of cultural distinction, appreciation and amalgamation. In both gallery shows, Tibet and Guangzhou, a twenty minute edit of some the recordings i had made were projected into the space. In addition to this, in both shows a recording of an improvised performance in a Tibetan bar that Hugh Makin and myself conducted with ‘Son of Black’, the bar manager and local musician, was available upon headphones. In the Guangzhou i also presented an installation with Sarah Duyhart which consisted of many tibetan bells hanging between an arch in the space. Across this, a recording of these bells was projected. This was captured upon train between Lhasa and Guangzhou a few days prior. Within our carriage, Sarah and i had strung the bells up in a similar fashion to the gallery installation. I described the recording as follows:
A web of bells was strung up throughout a sleeper carriage within a train traveling between Tibet to Guangzhou, China. The presented recording is the sound of these bells striking one and other. The stimulus for these collisions was afforded by both the vibration of the train and fluctuations in the inclination of the land over which the train passed. Hence, the recording presents a primitive, aural, and therefore temporal, mapping of the terrain that was traversed between the mountain regions of Tibet and lowland Guangzhou.
Creation of sound recognition software and then implementation upon a prototype mobile device. Project conducted over three weeks within a residency at the Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol and with support from HP Labs.
Bristol, famous for its central harbor and waterways, has numerous fountains in prominent locations through out the city. Each of these water features has it’s own distinct sound pattern that is clearly audible against the din of the hosting environment.
For the ‘Fountain experiment’ a mobile interface was designed that is capable of detecting the presence of a specific fountain through listening to the soundscape surrounding a user. Furthermore, by use of stereo microphones and frequency pattern recognition, the system can predict the distance a user is from the fountain in question and panoramically where this fountain is positioned. With this understanding, the mobile interface can attach new sound event to the flow of the fountain.
For this first experiment, the sound of bubbles bursting and striking the metallic surface of the fountain’s construction has been affixed. This sound layer reacts in the same manner as that of the real water activity, shifting both in frequency and position as a user navigates and orientates around the fountain structure.
The sound on the below video is a binaural sound recording from the walk shown with a stereo overlay produced by the created system in response to this approach. It has not in any way been doctored using final cut pro or similar. The video is best listened to through headphones.
Created specifically for and exhibited within the Dislocate Festival event (www.dis-locate.net), Tokyo/Yokohama, Japan. Creation: 3 – 13th September 2008, exhibit: 13th – 21st.
Work and work process are documented upon a separate blog, please visit:
Overview of general “In hear, Out there” ethos:
I shall be constructing and presenting a sonic work which utilizes locative media technologies, specifically GPS, as a means to create a virtual sound overlay upon a particular place. This augmentation is to be the palette of another place, be that near or far away. Hence, a hybrid place is created: we still ’see’ and the ‘feel’ the present place but our sound sense is now altogether different. Thus, the experience of being within the host locale has altered.
Through the juxtaposition of sound upon image (as described above) i am able, for whatever purposes, to highlight difference or similarity between places in a powerful and unique manner. I am able to amplify, distort or contrast situational elements. Furthermore, through contemplation upon what is heard and what is seen, the engaging participant is encouraged to re-evaluate their understanding of the immediate location.
In order to achieve the above (the relocation of sonic structures, paths or motifs from one place into another) a large catalogue of sound must be gathered, edited and thoughtfully redistributed. Therefore, this work is very much an ethnographic piece: a sound document is created which acts as a record of place. I must study this sound material, identifying the aural particularities of the place in question, and make comment upon what this sound says about the place and it’s inhabitants.
“In Hear, Out there: Yokohama” explored the urban green belt surrounding the Yokohama Stadium. The site was originally expected to serve the city in one particular manner: to accommodate the stadium’s pedestrian traffic. However, the space has been renegotiated by the surrounding community and has become a centre for a diverse number of activities. Furthermore, this alteration to use, adaptation of place, occurs continually throughout the day, week, month or beyond. The work acknowledged this phenomenon and provided sound document of it. This evidence was then distributed throughout the stadium site, providing the participant with an ability to spatially explore the many temporal faces of park complex whilst making a comparison with the present condition.
Document of a locative sound project entitled “In Hear, Out there: Yokohama”. Sound is presented binaurally and represents that heard by a participant navigating through the Yokohama Stadium complex, Japan. The work utilised a mobile device with GPS capability.
Sound composition projected within the Hebden Bridge Fringe, Yorkshire, Uk. Specific date unknown, within 27th June – 13th July 2008
At some point, somewhere within hebden bridge… from the bridge, within the town, out in the woods… a short sound composition of mine was projected. My blurb on the work:
“Short composition created from small amount of creative filtering and recordings within and around a beehive. Hence, the bees have become amplified and gigantic. Furthermore, the more they swarm, the more they resonant – their frantic activity creating music.”
3 week experimentation and 1 week Exhibition within the PS2 gallery, Belfast. In response to the venue’s “Sounding out Space” series. 5 June -5 July 2008
See work blog, which includes contributions from each day of the project:
Location: PS2 (Paragon Studios 2), Donegall Street, Belfast
23m² project space, with its public exposure to the street through shop front windows. Located within Cathedral Quarter amongst Belfast’s creative industry outlets, night life and independent retailers.
“Sounding out Space” will provide a series of explorative projects which explore aspects of ‘space’ and ‘place’ (architectural, emotional, historical, practical..) of specific focus is the PS2 project space, with its exposure to the street. The space is to be subjected to a wide range of multidisciplinary approaches; artists, musicians, choreographers, interior designers, refurbishment people, tenants…. Each participant will contribute a creative statement toward the constitution of the host locale.
“Present Place” is the culmination of my activity within the PS² project space over a three-week period. This has been an act of both creative sound practice and ethnographic documentation.
In total over 8 hours of sound recordings have been assessed. These provide document of the sonic character of the space at varying times of day and differing days of the week. From this catalogue a number of short samples (generally 3 minutes in length) have been created that either account a typical ‘din’ or salient event. These fragments have been collected together and appropriately arranged. The resulting collage is projected back into the space through speakers positioned in reference to the original recording locations.
The projected sound composition is juxtaposed against the present resounding activity within the space. The augmenting and real sound layers exhibit a strong correlation and relation (they are both ‘of’ the same place). The listener is thus easily drawn into creating synthetic connections between the two: they struggle to clarify whether sound is real or a speaker projection, they believe that recorded elements are properties of present events (seen visually) and distrust real sounds that raise above the ordinary, supposing that they are the aesthetic inclusions of the artist. The result is an uncanny experience, one of apprehension, surprise and unease.
In support of the above, the configuration of the installation recollects the cinema: the front window as the screen and the actual and augmenting soundscapes providing the soundtrack. This analogy is continued throughout the presented composition: The sound work has been accented with a series of scenes which form a stark narrative and outline how the space could be, or has been, inhabited. These constructed events, played out in real time within real space, feed the viewers curiosity and provide further incarnations of ‘the uncanny’.
Below pictures courtesy of Fiona Larkin, above is the original invite image created by Matt Green
Original proposal selected by MediaLab-Prado for creation within the Inclusiva.net workshop/conference, Madrid, March 3-14 2008. In continuation, work was exhibited within MediaLab, 26 March – 18 May 2008
Primarily, work created in collaboration with Maria Priesto and Andrew Henley.
Work awarded “Second prize” in the international new media art competition “Culturas 2008″ within the category of “Coordinates: states of change”. For more details see
“In Hear, Out There” is a locative-art installation anchored to the central space of AZCA, Madrid.
This project takes the park of AZCA as an uncompleted canvas. It deals with an intercultural dialogue between place and memory, in the interplay of digital technologies and the histories of the chosen space.
The work injects the sensation of three public amenities into AZCA: an Opera House, a Botanic Garden and a Library. These are previous designs for AZCA, a site which sought to provide the most modern and ‘European’ space in Spain. The project evokes this forgotten expectation through the creation of an audiovisual, interactive urbanscape inspired by three of Madrid’s most emblematic facilities: Teatro Real, Real Jardín Botánico, and Biblioteca Nacional. Sounds and images from those places are spatialized in AZCA.
“In Hear, Out There” is an augmented, Hyper-real urban experience.
The work is delivered through a PDA mobile device and develops according to the GPS position of the user. Through this method, fully rendered 3D sound structures can be formed. These are accompanied by exemplary visualizations.
“In Hear, Out There” is intended as a collaborative, unlimited montage of the contemporary city.
Our website houses an audiovisual presentation of the project within AZCA upon an interactive editable map. Our aim is to provide a means for the upload and download of audiovisual data from and into mapped locales. In this way, this work is to be an “evolutionary installation,” an open interactive archive for public engagement.
For more extensive information on the project please visit the blog:
or Medialab-Prado’s site:
Additional thanks to Artur Vidal, Horacio González, Luis Ayuso and Carlos Panero Zurbriggen for their assitance and contributions within the workshop.
Check here for video demonstrating the audio projection experienced by participant’s as they navigate the far corner of AZCA where the virtual Opera has been created: