Day Two - Sun 5 June, 2016 | Shifting registers of time

Thoughts from our Co-convenors, David Cross and Claire Doherty:

Day two was about how we might understand a diversity of time signatures in relation to the market.

They could be the fluctuating energies and intensities across a day, or ideas of time- past, present and future. Also what it was to make an artwork that had a particular time signature to it – whether that might be an hour, a week or a day or a year. It was about how might time be a consideration of an art project at QVM.

QVM Conversation: Adam, The Big Issue Vendor at QVM

‘I am the sound of the market’ – Adam, Big Issue Vendor, Queen Victoria Market

Workshop / Exercise: Leah Barclay, Acoustic Ecology Workshop

 ‘There was an intense packing down of the markets and all of those industrial sounds that come with it. You could hear that the nature, specifically the birds here, were very much competing.’ - Leah Barclay
 Sound walk with Acoustic Ecologist, Leah Barclay.

Sound walk with Acoustic Ecologist, Leah Barclay.

The sound walk experience with Leah was most profound. I was intrigued by the new way the soundscape seemed to evolve into a linear form. That Sunday afternoon, the soundscape of the market was not the usual cacophony of city sounds, but a spatial envelopment of sound. Sounds fade in and out as we walked along the route.' - Biennial Lab Assistant Curator, Aneta Trajkoski

Hard ground is scraped. Thick metal stamps thick metal. A door shuts quickly. Water flicks up at rubber tyres. More than one voice speaks Mandarin, but not very close by. A vehicle flushes exhaust. Radio music blares from a shopfront, but is muted by wet conditions. Damp air. With eyes closed for 49 seconds on Sunday 5 June 2016, 5.30pm at the Queen Victoria Market, this is what we hear.

Leah Barclay is a bright and loud energy whose voice fills the Biennial Lab warehouse space to every corner, and she probably knows it, because she thinks about sound a lot. Leah is a composer and Acoustic Ecologist, and is leading today's Biennial Lab workshop. Ultimately, her practice is about inspiring communities to listen to their environment. The idea is, if the sounds of one space are brought to people who might otherwise never think about it - an Amazon Rainforest soundscape into Times Square for example - they might be motivated to alter habits that are detrimental to those environments. She is teaching us about the intersection between sound technology and art, but moreover, we are learning about listening.

We have just been on a 'sound walk' through the Queen Victoria Market at the end of a busy selling day. We all walked the same path, but as we discuss our experiences, it becomes evident that everyone observes differently. What is poignant about the sound walk to some Biennial Lab artists is a revelation to others, and discussing it reveals a new and exciting place.

Outside at night, smartphone screens light up entertained faces who've just learned new technology. an 'AH!' sound is recorded by co-convenor Claire into the prefigured soundscape in an otherwise quiet laneway. Next, a subtle clicking sound. It is another layer to the world around us.

(Day 2: Written recollection by Amaya Courtis)

‘I would usually hear those sounds and think of them as noise, but this time the sounds seemed less absorbed by each other.’ – Jamie Hall