‘Her Long Black Hair’
An audio walk in Central Park
June 16 – September 11, 2005
The blending of space, time and perspective.
The experience of the audio walk felt like a collective one for me. I was experiencing Central Park through my perspective and Janet’s perspective simultaneously. Much like Janet, I was exploring the park with artifacts which lead me to my own story or the story I create for myself. It was an immersive experience tying together the essence of Central Park, Her Long Black Hair audio walk, and myself.
The stories and the sounds.
Note: orange text are audio from the audio walk.
Central Park: the shared experience between us
- Description of space and time – creates context, allow you to adjust your thoughts to meet her context
Evening, dark, day, birds.
- Ambient sound – ease sympathy, experience what she is experiencing in the same space
People saying hello, symphony, buses, birds, pond, children.
Her Long Black Hair: Janet’s own take on the lady
- Opinion of photographs – let in to personal space in her mind, get to know her through her perspective
Her hair is annoying.
Myself: my invitation into her experience
- Follow the stepping sound – establishing a space, a rhythm
Heels or hard shoes on the ground
- Detailed description – feel more connected, more nuanced with experience
The long roots of the trees, that very last bench, walk down all the steps.
- Direct command – feel active in the walk
Now get up, walk to the end, sit for a while.
- Whispering – let in to personal space
Wants to change memories in her mind.
- Breathing together at the end – synchronize physically, get into the same wavelength, leave feeling neutral
What did / did not work.
All the sound techniques helped with empathy. The only thing that did not work for me was the long pause which caused me to be distracted. Perhaps in addtion to the stepping sound, there could be breathing sound or other audio stimuli.
The audio walk, the combination of abient noise, narration and direct invitation, stimulated a lot of imagination, allowed me to empathize with the artist and made me feel more connected to the space.
POST-WALK NOTES, TO BE EDITED:
empathize with person because she’s doing the same thing, trying to figure out a story
man phones in works
mimics the real sense of walking… random thoughts come into mind
the pace of the walk, step by step
pointing out very specific nuances like “last bench” or the “roots of the trees”
talking directly at you and stopping at the same time
makes you feel like somebody is following you.
stimulated by people who shout “hello hello”
the long pauses which are left for you to think? causes distractions?
stimulate very active imagination
makes you question her story, why does she feel this/that way
makes you question her background, why does she imagine the worse of people, why is she doing this walk, what’s her relationship to the photos
made me feel like every place has a history and the place is made up of everybody’s history there
the ambience noise play a big part in making it seem very realistic
effective – made me feel scared, curious, something is about to happen but doesn’t
effective, I think those stories actually exist