This place is too noisy

This place is too noisy is the final piece created as part of my MFA degree at RISD. There is no limit to the amount of people visiting the installation beyond the reduced dimensions of the space. The visitors go across a dark corridor with a small gate at the end, on the right side of the wall. That entrance connects the corridor with a room shaped like a cone. There is no light inside that space except a small point of light filtered from the ceiling on the opposite side of the structure. Walls, floor and ceiling guide the visitors to that extreme end of the room. The cone ends in a small cubicle, a small room for a single person. Once the visitor is inside that cage they feel a subtle vibration through their bodies.

This piece is the most architectural of all my works. The space is determinant to build the liminality of the work. In this case, the ritual consists in crossing the corridor and getting into the cone. This installation is built from the idea of the dichotomy between light and darkness. From the light outside the room, the visitor walks to the darkness at the end of the corridor, the darkest point of the installation. Then, he or she walks again to the light of the small cubicle at the end of the room. Another element that builds the liminal effect of the piece is the distribution of the spaces inside the room. The long corridor is a threshold to gain access to the conic chamber where the walls are more and more close in every step we take. All the architectural elements point to the small chamber at the end of the cone.

In visual terms, the illuminated small cubicle works as a point of light at the end of the tunnel, a place of discovery or realization. This recalls the work of James Turrell. The internal structure of the room also refers to a speaker’s construction. Here is where the sound element of the piece, the core part of the project, starts its work. Inside the chamber, the visitor experiences a very subtle vibration. This vibration pressures the visitor’s head and makes his or her body vibrates from the feet to the top of the head. This sensation is generated by the low frequencies and infrasound of the Convention Center.

The main exhibition building in Providence has a permanent sound generated by its AC. In addition to that, during the Graduate Exhibition, that noise is mixed with the sound of every piece and the conversations of the visitors, who number 3,000 during the opening.

Being such a crowded show, making the experience as individual as possible is central. The corridor is three feet wide, so two people can walk in together. However, the cone gradually reduces the social space of the visitor, forcing him or her to go inside the chamber completely alone. This is where the dialog starts.

Images: Detail I, Detail II, Physical Sensation, Plan of the Installation.

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