The main attraction of "Echo" installation was a three hour video manipulation, which was projected non-stop on the wall of Room A. This video was accompanied with a double mono soundtrack, broadcast through two loudspeakers. The soundtrack recording was produced by placing two AM radio receivers in close contact with a TV cathode ray display, while playing back a video recording. The AM receivers were tuned to different frequencies, and catched interference that was in sync with the moving picture on the TV display. Additionally, noise produced by TV and video remote controls was also recorded.
My object in doing this was to "catch" Echo's voice from the air. Also, video manipulations of flowing water that were played back slowly, frame by frame, changed the rapid flow to stone-like patterns.
"Narcissus left her, and she went to hide her blushes in the recesses of the woods. From that time forth she lived in caves and among mountain cliffs. Her form faded with grief, till at last all her flesh shrank away. Her bones were changed into rocks and there was nothing left of her but her voice." (Thomas Bulfinch, The Age of Fable)
Sound equipment in Room B.
Sound atmosphere in Room B was created in situ by a modified Hewlett-Packard computer. The computer CPU had been dismantled and was situated on top of a generic AM radio receiver. The receiver in turn was tuned in to catch interference caused by the operation of the computer, principally by the motors of the hard disk drive, which was performing a continuous loop of writing, reading, and deleting a set of random files. (The hard disk perished after two weeks of continual performance, reducing the computer interference to a monotonous hum.)
Mini speakers in Room B.
The sound produced by the computer / receiver combination was amplified and output through a set of 14 speakers. A chain of 12 miniature speakers was attached to the room's floor. These .25 W speakers were fitted with light dependent resistors, which regulated the volume of the emitted sound based on the intensity of light exposed on the resistors. Additionally, two powerful speakers were situated by the windows of the room. These two speakers emitted a constant shriek.
Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv'st unseen
Within thy aëry shell
By slow Meander's margent green,
And in the violet-embroidered vale,
Where the love-lorn nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well ...
Human retinal photography in Room B.
Two walls of Room B displayed Polaroid photographs of human retinae. The allusion was to the myth of Echo and Narcissus ("puddles of ink"). The shape and colour of these pictures was similar with the light dependent resistors attached to the miniature speakers.
Photocopier test sheets in Room B.
Finally, one wall of Room B was filled with a series of identical photocopier test pattern sheets.
An installation consisting of a defunct "Belmag" ultraviolet lamp and a number of blank plastic photo-album pages.
Communication art project documents
Copyright © 1996 J. Lehmus. All individual works Copyright © 1996 by their respective authors. All further rights to works belong to the authors and revert to the authors on publication.
Original video photography by J. Lehmus.
Thanks to Aleksandr Koltsoff for his helpful assistance.
firstname.lastname@example.org 22 September 1996