“Transport Me” Installation for Sound Thought at Glasgow CCA

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Back in 2011, I was on a mission to ride the largest metro systems in the world, end to end, taking photos and sound recordings at each station along the way. I called it Transport Me, a product of my obsession with trains, maps, and city infrastructure all wrapped into one project! After a pretty grueling month of riding trains, I had finished the entirety of the world’s second largest system in Seoul, South Korea.

As it stands, my library of recordings and photos currently includes somewhere around 740 metro stations in six cities. Not too bad, but certainly not yet complete.

As luck would have, a call for entries came across my email last year for Sound Thought, a conference on sound produced by University of Glasgow. The theme? Projects in the ‘beta’ phase of development. Perfect!

The work was accepted as a sound installation piece, and Suhee and I took an early bus to Glasgow this past Friday to set it up. The Sound Thought team were impeccable at their jobs. They took the short installation brief I had written and had everything set up on arrival, speakers wired, positioned, center seating, lighting. After a short sound check, it was all set.

Visitors at the "Transport Me" installation, part of the Sound Thought conference at Glasgow Center for Contemporary Art
Visitors at the “Transport Me” installation, part of the Sound Thought conference at Glasgow Center for Contemporary Art | Photo: Suhee Kang

It seemed as though visitors enjoyed this ride through metro stations in six different cities, some taking strolls, some sitting on the bench in the center, as one visitor noted to me “as though they are waiting for their train.” It took on more of a performative element than I expected, which was a positive thing to see.

If the opportunity arises, it would be good to continue developing this project further, expanding the amazing stock of images and sounds that are already amassed and working new ways to display it. For now, though, it was good to have a ‘beta’ — or maybe it was alpha? — run of the sound bits for an audience in a new place.

The Sound Thought conference includes talks, concerts, sound installation works, and takes place this weekend (10-12 Jan 2014) at the Glasgow Center for Contemporary Art, Scotland.

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