vegetalle oscillations

sound installation &
listening map
central produce market,
los angeles


vegetale oscillations was presented as a site specific installation at the city market in downtown los angeles in 1998. the piece was actually two parts – one, a sound installation, and one, a sound/listening exploration of the site.

the first part was a 24 minute soundscape created using only the sounds i had recorded during a 24 minute walk around the outdoor market spaces while i wandered through the spaces and surrounding areas for the first time. as i listened back to the initial recording, i became interested in the secondary sounds – those very small acoustic activities in the background, that i had not noticed in real time; so for the audio work, i took an number of those details, and reconfigured everything into a new recording – basically an abstraction of what i heard, by altering pitch and re-arranging the sequence of the sounds. i also expanded certain microscopic audio fragments, which also shifted pitch, etc.  nonetheless, the entire composition was made up of the original sounds recorded during this initial walk through the space.

in an attempt to further some interaction with the produce market itself, and to expand upon my original intentions of walking through a public space and having moments of private audio experience; the second part of the installation involved placing a series of small brightly colored stickers (about the size of a penny) in various parts of the produce market to suggest a possible path for audio engagement. my interest being not just to send you out on an audio treasure hunt, but to suggest that a visit to an unfamiliar (or even familiar) place can extend beyond the visual, and if one is sensitive enough, to experience a feast for the ears as well. the outdoor marketplace is active and filled with sounds – both beautiful and ugly – and it was my hope that one could use this experience to further explore “active listening”.

the sound piece was released on a split CD with small cruel party and toy bizarre on the gmbh label