Trigger Place - A Game of Sound and Architecture (2017)

Matilde Meireles, Diogo Alvim (co-author)

About this exposition

"Play" was a project developed by Matilde Meireles and Diogo Alvim with the participation of experimental filmmaker Richard O'Sullivan. This multilayered performance was specially conceived for the annex of the Physical Education Centre at Queen's University Belfast, a building composed of several squash courts and an audience area. The project encompassed live music (a brass ensemble), electronics, video projections, and a live squash game, all affecting the perception of the site. This building became the main character of an immersive acoustic experience, where a game of squash was the starting point to explore ideas about architecture and place through sound. The squash courts were subject to acoustic processes extrapolated from two of Alvin Lucier's most important works—"Vespers" and "I am sitting in room". Also the floor markings were manipulated, as a reference to Edward Krasinski's obsession with a never-ending line. These extended beyond the performance space to reveal unexpected connections.
typeresearch exposition
keywordsSound, Architecture, Place
last modified10/12/2017
affiliationSonic Arts Research Centre, Queen's University Belfast
published inJournal for Artistic Research
portal issue14.
external linkhttp://matildemeireles.com/portfolio/play

comments: 1 (last entry by Paul Landon - 21/12/2017 at 21:00)
Paul Landon 21/12/2017 at 21:00

The structure of the exposition is elegant and clear. The continuation of the red tape from the squash court into the web page layout functions well as a conducting element among the diverse readings of the performance and architecture explored. The play with the architecture of the squash court and the sports centre is engaging. The sports centre is inscribed with a shifting vocation symbolic of the uncertain history of its surrounding political geography. I think the use of the space in the performance for its acoustic properties underscored well the centre’s historic resonance, emphasized by having a brass band playing (symbolising a militaristic nationalism)  I would have liked a better documentation of the performance included with the exposition (the included video trailer is a confusing element as it sees to announce an event that may or may not take place, and, like a film trailer, functions less as documentation and more as a teaser  for the event). The performance, the event that was the catalyst for this exposition seems a little lost within the various reflections and interpretations made by the authors, reflections that are informative and insightful, yet that seem to obfuscate any description of the performance. The rigorous, focussed simplicity of the works of Krasinski and Lucier, referred to by the authors, seems to be lacking in their own multi-faceted performance that combined musical composition, live video and participatory elements. I would like to see the authors reconsider this approach to their practice and develop it more coherently in its form, while maintaining the necessary interdisciplinary nature (in this case crossing music with architecture) of the work. This is not an easy task I understand, but artistic research approach needs to be as demanding in the rigour of the artistic practice as it is in the research emanating from it.

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