Wunderkammer Road Trip: Proposal

Based on my experiences and encounters from our voyage of discovery we were required to make a proposal for a project. This project could have had a range of ambitions, including an intervention within a collection or even a representation, a proposition to reorder an existing collection in order to subvert or expose a different reading other than that which the existing curation may infer, something like Ryan Gander and his Night in the Museum did. I decided to do a response, on its broadest sense of ideas and encounters I have experienced within the past two weeks of travelling and to create a tool which would enable the viewer to interact within a specific collect, gallery or space using their sound sence which originated from my collection or perhaps a tool which lets artists and even curators to experience space, for which they may as well respond.Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 22.46.31The majority of museums, visitors can only experience the artworks by viewing them. Looking at the five senses, (sight, touch, taste, smell, sound) sight is the first we think about. We are constantly bombarded with imagery, and me personally loving to snap photos of everywhere we go, there is a loss of sense in relation to the physical world. We are so far into this century into virtual reality where everyone reads images through the virtual. It’s one of the big problems that art confronts now, in fact we probably all confront. The virtual denies tactility, it denies your physical presence in relation to something other than a lighted screen. The nature of art has given way to photographs and images and we receive information through images and we don’t receive art through our total senses in term of walking, looking, experiencing, touching and feeling and that’s has kind of been lost.Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 22.46.35We have the urge to being up close, reading labels but how do we record and retain that information? We can all visually make drawings, take notes, snap photos, and photography is something that intrigues me. The no photography policy in  Sir John Soane’s Museum and the Hunterian Museum, which for ethics reasons is not allowed, I wonder if perhaps it detaches us from the whole experience from an institution. on the contrary it makes us stop, go slower, read more and appreciate more, by using our senses more which we are usually unaware, but then again,  do our memories retain in the future when looking back?Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 22.46.37As makers we tend to like to touch stuff (alot). This introduces a whole new experience as we wonder how stuff is made, pondering its tactility, but then there is a compromise, fragility. Things obviously can’t all be touched, preservation from the institutions behalf is essential and although some institutions have some handling sessions, they have the constant struggle to bring innovation to museums and gather bigger audiences to their institutions.Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 22.46.39Something we know for sure is that the public loves interaction, and that is affected by their senses which will probably trigger memories and possibly attract wider audiences, therefore something that plays a big roll on my proposal.Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 22.46.41You would think that taste is an unusual sence to experience within a museum, but far from it. Taking the incredible collection by the fabulous Marek Liska as an example, he began to make connections between the relationship of cafes and their institutions and how they can evoke memories, linking taste to time and to space.Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 22.46.42Taking another example of a unusal sense to experience within an institution is smell. Not being able to take any photos at Soanes, that digital memory is taken away from us, without us being able to refer to it. However, things like the perfumed installation by food historian Tasha Marks, Scent Chambers is a piece which recreates smells from the Georgian kitchen, this is such a power tools which not only evokes memories from the Soanes itself but from a different era, from a different time and place.Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 22.46.44When it comes to visually impaired people who tend to navigate through sound and touch, and museums face a new challenge. However, at The Wellcome Collection, a medical institution has cleaver interactions for blind people, by using sound outputs through out and braille labels which of course includes a wider audience into their facilities.Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 22.46.47.pngMarcel Duchamp once said that the work of art was completed by the viewer. When sound is involved there is an additional bodily element to this, the perceptions the visitor brings with them will completely, alter the work.Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 22.46.50Taking my collection as inspiration, it evokes memories, especially for the people who went to the Wunderkammer road trip, and although photographs can have the same effect, with sounds there is a surprise element, not knowing where you are, but swiftly we are confronted with a squeaking wheelchair or coffee machines frothing away or even Marek and Morgan moaning to indulge on some cake.Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 22.46.51.pngLooking at sonic arts, my proposal is to have a multi-purpose audio tool where sound can guide you through the museum not in a literal way. An experiment to see how much of an effect sound plays with our memories and retain information.

It will be set in a completely dark place, however visual work is still present in the space. and why take one of the most important sence? This of course will make our other senses more alert. Often we don’t really know whats real and whats not, just because a label says so. Taking the Davies sisters as an example, among their collection they seven oil paintings that had been bought as Turners.Three of these were subsequently judged to be fake and withdrawn from display. These works were re-examined by the BBC TV programme, Fake or Fortune where they were reinstated as genuine Turners.

In addition there is always a hype around names and labels and looking at the famous Mona Lisa which is possibly the most wellknown painting in the world, often disappoints viewers by its minute size and the shere amount of tourists around her, often lets views a bit more than disappointed.  Therefore, having vision taken away from the audience and not really telling them who’s work is being exhibited is crucial.

As a multi purpose audio tool not only will you be able to experience the institution physically but it will be an immersive way of responding to a place without being physically in the space. Without that visual aide artists are able to produce work for a commission in response to the sound alone and in a way it is a rhizome way of working. Would it work? It is a good questions, but you could test it out for yourself for a mere £9.99 if you order today.L9473661

 

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tonidej

BA (Hons) 2nd Year Ceramics student at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Love experimenting with material and techniques and work on a range of medium.

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