TEXTS: AUDIO ON THE MOVE, PROJECT #2 EDITED BY MOLLY HANKWITZ

Responding to a series of ideas which have appeared in various net contexts, New Media Fix will be featuring an ongoing editorial project on sound and audio-based artworks which utilize Œaudio‚ as a means to break spatial conventions and/or to problematize the idea of Œlocation. ŒAudio on the Move‚ features creative projects which question and explore notions of public space, space as interface, social ritual, and/or artistic and self expression.

FOCUS: INVISIBLE 5‚

Road culture long a fascination for artists involves the curious intermingling of public and private that happens when the individuated and personalized car is pitched against wide open spaces, small towns, and urban zones in a near cinematic relationship. In a new media context, this relation has interesting parallels to web-navigation, identity tourism (1) and the interest in locative or wireless media.

Created for California’s Interstate-5 corridor between San Francisco and Los Angeles Å’Invisible 5‚ is a self-guided audio tour originally recorded for use on CD while driving. Thus, it reaches the commuter/listener from a landscape of cities, towns and spaces which might otherwise go largely unnoticed at high speeds and reworks the concept of passage. The artists‚ point out what a critical „pathway I-5 is along the west coast:

for trade, tourism, and migration, and functions as part of the infrastructure bundle that parallels it – supporting symmetrical movements of water, oil, and gas.

ŒInvisible 5‚ is a detailed work on the road and its impact on local environmental contexts, acting as an accompanying soundtrack across the artificial boundary of car and space; or how we view and understand space. Its essence is to bring what we see as passersby, and conceive as nature intoclose proximity with what can be heard: that the Californian environment is historically „unseen (and unheard) from the perspective of its activists and citizens.

This impressive approach suggests larger future installations created on the same or similar subjects taking place beyond the road. Invisible 5‚s strength resides outside the gallery/museum while utilizing the now familiar form of art intake: the audio tour as its physical connection to official creativity. One can imagine such conceptual and environmental works based on other personal maps— which we are seeingËœin the locative media context, as well as as pure audio.

For more information: http://www.invisible5.org/ Collaborators: Amy Balkin, Green Action for Health and Environmental Justice, Tim Halbur, Kim Stringfellow, Pond: Art, Activism, and Ideas, the Creative Work Fund.

Notes:
1. Nakamura, Lisa, „Cybertypes: Race, Class and Identity in Cyberspace, Chapter 4. New York: Routledge, 2002.

Edited by artist/curator Molly Hankwitz, ŒAudio on the Move‚ started in June and will appear monthly, with revolving projects and comment. Projects may be submitted for inclusion to: editor@newmediafix.net.