The Closing Ceremony: Field recording as auto-ethnography of solitude.
(University of Glasgow)
Paper short abstract:
The Closing Ceremony is a two-part audio work composed of sounds captured during the closing concert of a city-wide mega-event. This piece explores celebration and surveillance, the city and its subjects, reflecting ultimately on the activity of recording as a process of self-positioning.
Paper long abstract:
The Closing Ceremony is a two-part audio work composed of sounds captured during the closing concert of a city-wide mega-event. As it played out across the sky and across media, the closing ceremony colonized the city. City-space and residents were produced as both 'subject of' and 'audience to' a globally-sponsored celebration. Through sound recording and composition, my intention was to engage with the spatial effect of the event (concert, media broadcast), and with the position of the subject(s) constituted by it. 'How... do you make a semblance of a situation?'1 Field recordings from streets surrounding the stadium collapse into squashed mono phone-capture from inside the concert venue. Lo-res audience uploads combine with fragments of broadcast footage. Found applause meets 'real' applause meets built-in compression. I try to explore the closing ceremony through these audio recordings, to fix the event, and gain critical distance. I assemble it to dismantle it. Open it to close it. Spasm and burnout. In time, this activity begins to close in on itself. My position, my distance, and the act of recording become the object of study. The proposed workshop includes the playback of pt1. The Closing Ceremony and pt2. Eternal Gratitude, as context for a brief discussion on 'Field recording as auto-ethnography of solitude'. Links to downloadable (unmixed) early drafts of both sections below. The Closing Ceremony - http://bit.ly/1JE2aPf Eternal Gratitude - http://bit.ly/1w3RjSZ - 1. Massumi, B. Semblance and Event, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2011, p. 52
Sound programme: "Utopic Dystopias: Dystopic Utopias" [Workshop]