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Open Sound 2015: Polyphonic Cartograph

Consider the relationship between landscape, language, and voice in three sound art installations.

In Surrey City Centre née Whalley, Surrey-based writer Taryn Hubbard presents a multi-channel soundscape of Surrey’s new City Centre and surrounding community. This soundscape is composed of environmental recordings collected over the course of one year and document a city in transition. As Surrey City Centre continues to transform, the sounds are but a transmission from the recent past, triggering memories in the mind of the listener.

Part II of Open Sound 2015 presents Anspayaxw, an immersive installation for voice, image, and sound created by London-based artist John Wynne in collaboration with artist Denise Hawrysio and linguist Tyler Peterson. At the core of this technically innovative installation are six audiovisual portraits of members of the Gitxsan community speaking one of the numerous endangered aboriginal languages in British Columbia. The artwork powerfully conveys the importance of oral history and language diversity, but it also critically addresses issues of translation and the mediated relationships involved in fieldwork and research.

Read more about this project in the exhibition brochure.

The final part of Open Sound 2015 is The Grove: A Spatial Narrative by Carmen Papalia, Andrew Lee, and Phinder Dulai. This multi-channel soundscape and visual narrative explores the community uses of a transient forest called "The Grove" that abuts the Newton bus loop and Newton Recreation Centre in Surrey. The Grove has witnessed the extremes of human activity from illicit transactions and tragedies to community lunches and art interventions. A handful of locals are reclaiming this public space and envisioning it as a site to engage passersby.

Artists
Taryn Hubbard
John Wynne
Carmen Papalia, Andrew Lee, & Phinder Dulai

Sound Thinking 2015
Voicing the City In/verse: Reading Surrey and the Super Suburb

Sound Thinking 2015 examines the rich literary and spoken word output of Canada's super-suburb, specifically Surrey and its surrounding South of the Fraser region. Surrey is the quintessential super-suburb (a term sometimes used to describe suburbs with populations that exceed 250,000). Here, both the past and potential story of the future is palpable in this area's literature and everyday speech. The communities of Surrey, Langley, Delta, and White Rock all coalesce to form a rapidly sprawling narrative of post-war civic expansion and settlement where the world of cul-de-sacs, "a" and "b" streets, and community spaces intersect with indigenous oral histories of place and meaning. In these locations, European colonial settlement patterns converged with waves of migration from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East to form new neighbourhoods and a new kind of suburb that is both culturally and linguistically diverse.

This two-day symposium features the work of poets, fiction writers, spoken word artists, sound artists, and storytellers who read, speak, and voice the experiences of the "super-suburb", a space formerly on the periphery, but increasingly the centre of metropolitan socioeconomic life.

Speakers: M.G. Vassanji (keynote), John Armstrong, Sadhu Binning, Roxanne Charles, Joseph A. Dandurand, Veeno Dewan, Connor Doyle, Lakshmi Gill, Heidi Greco, Leona Gom, Heather Haley, Taryn Hubbard, Tom Konyves, Judy MacInnes, Cecily Nicholson, Fauzia Rafique, Kevin Spenst

Image credit: Installation image of Surrey City Centre née Whalley by Taryn Hubbard. Photo by Scott Massey.