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The Invisible Truth: The Terrorism of Circumstance

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Terrorism of Circumstance



My other favourite work at the Busan Bienniale was this weather balloon kept afloat by a fan blowing air upwards. It had a radio signal that broadcast through about twenty speakers arranged in a circle around the room. The radio signal was picked up on an amplifier through some feedback mechanism that varied the sound it made as the balloon moved around in the room and changed its distance from the amplifier. The sounds produced were very trancy: reminiscent of a cross between tibetan chanting and cicada song.

Unfortunately, as I was watching and listening, the balloon and its attached radio collided with the fan cage. The sound became very tinny, high-pitched, and loud, and then faded away totally. One of the bienniale staff soon appeared and looked at me, and I just shrugged my shoulders like I didn't know what caused the mishap (which was true). I guess I was lucky. They could have construed that I somehow screwed with the installation. Whew!

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