PATTER(n)INGS: Apt. 3B

Creative Work
Year: 
2021
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Description (in English): 

In our piece we explore themes of intimacy, proximity, disruption and mediation through our audio-only documentation of suspended being(s) in the emerging and familiar spaces, patterns and troubled times of contemporary 2020 COVID existence inside the many rooms of Apt. 3B (wherever that is). We draw creative inspiration from personal historical accounts of plague and disease narratives (Boccaccio’s Decameron, Pepys’ Diary of Samuel Pepys, Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” for example), as well as reflections on home and storytelling (from Ursula K. LeGuin and others), combined with original texts, recordings and contemporary (2020) news reporting focused on global destruction, recovery, resistance, and homage. We remix, re-design and (sound) engineer an audio experience deliberately intended to evoke curiosity from eavesdropper-users, drawing them in, while distancing them through confusion and discomfort.

Our interactive audio experience moves between deep materiality and immaterial illusion, and it is captured through spatial dis/orientation, fragmentation, layered affects, embodied response, and confession, all reconstructed by a single eavesdropper-user, also ideally in semi-isolation. Created as a web-based interface (but with downloadable versions for PC and MAC available), and with no identifiable graphics, other than a full-screen black square, the eavesdropper-user wears headphones (and ideally a face mask, blindfold, or plague doctor hood, if available) and may only move a computer mouse blindly across the flat surface of a desk in front of the blackened computer monitor. Hidden sound files, which also move and shift, must be discovered by the eavesdropper-user, who accesses them through a further limited sense of human touch, mediated through the mouse. The sound files shift and are layered to create the manifold and multiplicitous spaces (‘rooms’) of “Apt. 3B,” both a site-specific—and therefore bounded location—but also a conceptual space of endless limitation and resonance. (Left mouse clicks allow users to move from room to room, signaled by opening/closing door creaks, and right clicks allow escape.)

(Source: author's abstract)

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Irene Fabbri