Capturing the Audience: A Primer for Sound Art in Public Spaces

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This post has been removed because a substantially revised version is slated for publication in Leonardo Music Journal Issue 24 (2014). After it appears in LMJ, I'll post the new and improved version here, 6 months following the publication. (It's all about copyright, folks!)

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6 responses
Lot of helpful tips for students as opposed to hard and fast rules.
This is really good. It will be interesting seeing people trying to break these rules, but I think most won't be successful. The only other thing I would add is to make a simple recording of hand claps in the gallery space and use that as reference of the natural reverb in the room. I did that for my last installation and made my sound piece by always sending the audio to an additional aux with similar reverb in it. When done, I then made my final mix without that additional reverb. Everyone was very happy with the result. Another option would be to do the final mix inside the space but I can't imagine that would be possible every time.
Thanks, Linda, glad you like. Cesar, that's a brilliant strategy. I will definitely pass that on to students.
This is brilliantly simple and helpful. Particularly as InterArts Thesis candidates are contemplating their installation strategies for next spring...
All great tips, Jesse. I would also paraphrase the old cliche regarding visual art: just as nobody goes to an art opening to look at the work, the same tends to hold true for sound work- only more so. Imagine the gallery getting darker and darker as more visitors arrive to a painting or sculpture exhibition. This is the visual equivalent to what happens at an opening for sound-based work. All subtlety goes out the window for the opening.
Thanks, Jenny, I do hope it's helpful. Paul, the idea of the gallery slowly getting darker is hilarious-- and yes, a great metaphor. According to museum research I've seen on why people visit galleries, the art itself is pretty low on the list of motivations. So that old cliche isn't just true of opening night!