Title of Work: Disappear
Category: new media
Year of Creation: 2004
Duration: 14 minutes looped
Materials: surround sound installation plus text paperwork

DISAPPEAR is a sound installation (complete with visual element) that was funded as a result of an Arts Council funding award in 2003. Since it’s creation it has been warmly received in several galleries, and in December 2005 it received the accolade of the winning work in the British Composer Awards New Media category.

The work consists of a surround sound composition combined with a text-based art piece that covers the entire gallery floor. Visitors to the work enter the space by walking over the floor-piece where they are enveloped by a moving soundscape with sounds appearing to dance and travel through and around the listener providing a four dimensional sonic experience.

The piece focuses on what the artist calls ‘endangered sounds’, i.e., those sounds which might not be there in ten or twenty years time (for example, milk bottles, wind-up alarm clocks, matches striking, and so on). The sound is played on five loud speakers that are mounted around the space and is controlled by a DVD player, so daily set up is very simple. The accompanying floor piece is created specifically for the gallery and takes about one week to complete. The work is flexible enough to be installed in galleries of differing sizes, from as small as 6m x 6m through to 12m x 9m.

Fundamentally, the work is concerned with encouraging people to listen to the sounds of their environment and for them to (re)consider how they relate to their surroundings. As a consequence, the work offers many possibilities for educational projects as well as novel ways for engaging with the wider public. Possibilities include submissions of favourite sounds, listening activities such as sound-walks and the creation of a local sound archive.