Safe & Sound

For this piece the chosen site is the road and its counterpart, the test site. The road presents the promise to safely deliver its traveling subjects from origin to destination. On the flipside of this promise, the test site speaks of the potentiality of accidents as they hover over the road experience with absolute statistical certainty. A gap separates these two possibilities, preventing them from attaining symmetrical coincidence. Between the assurance of the safe trip and the certainty of the accident, there is a whole range of safety standards that can stretch or compress the proximity between these two possibilities. One can speak of a degree of coincidence between these two layers of experience where a consonance or dissonance of terms is at stake. This tension or discontinuity between different but compatible registers is a recurring interest that has surfaced in previous projects.

For this piece, two transitive site specific sound compositions register the dual character of the experience in question: on one side, the serene, matter of fact, dislocation on the road; on the other, the disturbing meticulousness of the accident reconstructed in the test site environment.

A strange silence usually surrounds the routinely slow motion representation of test crash accidents in media representation. It is as if sound, along with its necessary real speed of movement, were too traumatic to handle in its actuality. And, even more so, too disruptive of the message of safety in question.

This piece seeks to reverse this process and expose the viewer to such disruptive experience. The disjunctive, albeit related if not compatible juxtaposition of these compositions is conveyed in the space of the exhibition by making use of adjacent spaces.

Safe & Sound is part of Stripped Bare a larger project sponsored by the Danish Arts Council and the New York Foundation for the Arts that includes an exhibition and publication in collaboration with artists Alex Villar and Lars Mathisen.