Material ConneXion, New York, NY 11/02-2/03


Silica. Ice. Silence.

Frozen water sublimates; passing from solid directly to vapor.
A crystalline lattice calving, one molecule at a time.

Here, in frozen silica, sound is transmuted through glass to gas.
One molecule at a time.

This installation was a part of the immaterial/ultramaterial: (re)sonance exhibit at Material ConneXion, New York. My intent was to explore the material properties of the large pieces of glass (3'x8'x0.5") forming a vitrine on one side of the gallery.

Two sheets of the glass are directly emitting, from their entire surfaces, a Shepard tone. (A musical illusion of a pitch continuously descending or ascending. Impossible in either case, the illusion is achieved by shuffling harmonics in and out.) One piece of glass emits an ascending tone and the other a descending one with some small amount of crosstalk. The result is a kind of sonic folding that reflects the texture of the folded surfaces displayed behind the glass and also the potentially boundaryless nature of assembled multiples. The apparent frequencies were chosen to resonate the exhibition hall and create a sense of the whole space being acoustically folded.