Saskatoon public library, Saskatchewan

Mar 31, 2015, 10:16 AM

Tod Emel writes: "For the purposes of the Cities and Memory: Oblique Strategies, I collected field recordings from the foyer of the Frances Morrison Library in downtown Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I found this liminal space intriguing, acting as a sort of buffer zone between the noisy world of the street outside and the quiet, contemplative setting of the library interior. As I sat recording, many people of different ages came through the space, leaving traces of their passing in the sounds of opening and closing doors; snippets of conversation mingled with the sound of passing vehicles and the peal of bells from a nearby church.

My randomly selected cards were: 1) Make what's perfect more human, and 2) Water. As I set about to re-imagine the recordings, I felt that digitally altering and effecting the original recordings to invoke sounds of water was producing something more mechanistic, less human. The more I thought about it however, it seemed that i was producing something more ‘artificial,’ much in the sense that Oscar Wilde spoke of artifice. From this perspective, it seemed that as I introduced more artifice and restructuring in processing the recordings, I was marking this raw material as more human."