‘Here Everything is Still Floating’: An Exercise in Sound Drawing


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All good ideas arrive by chance’ (Max Ernst)

During our Visiting Day on Saturday 6 March 2010, the School of Art continued its series of experimental workshops designed to explore the relationship between sound and image. The first was Concert: To Do Something in Cooperation with Another, held on the 3 March. On this second occasion, Naomi Pincher (a third-year fine-art student), Reuben Knutson (Studio Tutor) and John Harvey (Professor of Art) collaborated to create an impromptu and improvisatory sound- and drawing-based installation. Here Everything is Still Floating (with acknowledgement to M E) comprised objects – including drawing- and writing-instruments – suspended in the air by balloons filled with helium. The objects delicately inscribed marks upon the screens of overhead projectors, and produced sounds when they made contact with an electrically-charged sheet of foil laid across the gallery floor. The vibrations of the air – caused by the movement of passers-by, the sound projected from loudspeakers, fans, and changes in the ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure of the exhibition space – acted upon the balloons (and the objects thereby) to create a ‘chance-chart’ of their drift, sway and swagger, pulsations, bleeps and buzzes, throughout the course of the day. The sound-based aspect of the installation consisted of live and pre-recorded audio material, digital-effects processors, and guitar work, and aimed both to stimulate further and ‘mimic’ the deft, accidental, and automatic peregrinations of these floating objects. The project exemplifies the widening concept of drawing and the development of inter-medial art practiced at the School.

Sound recording of The Family Bible Floats Through the Living Room (2010).

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