Curatorial Projects > Bay Area Currents (2009)

Alex Potts
Resonance, 2009
Interactive sound installation

"Resonance is a sound sculpture that fuses technology and ancient, organic vessels. Speakers are crafted from the resonant bodies of gourds. A multi-channel software instrument, modeled on living systems, records, processes and plays ambient soundscapes.

Gourds are significant, as they are known to be the first plant domesticated by humans. They traveled around the Earth millennia ago during human migrations - from Africa, through Asia, to the Americas. Used as vessels since ancient times and throughout countless cultures today as musical instrument resonators, gourds are used in this installation as vessels to carry the sounds of people.

To the audience's delight, the sculpture is responsive and playful - alive.

Resonance captures sound and tunes itself to the characteristics of its environment. It's designed to analyze audio input and adapt its behavior over time to fit harmoniously within its locale. The system also stores audio in long-term memory and recalls selective sounds under analogous conditions. For example, a visitor humming in the gallery may begin to hear a voice with similar sonic characteristics singing from nearby gourds.

Traveling from place to place, the sculpture forms a collective memory and parallels the continuing journey these vessels have made alongside people for tens of thousands of years. The goal of this project is to network a multitude of Resonance installations in different regions around the world to form a holistic system that connects people and places through interactive sound art. - Alex Potts

Bay Area Currents 2009

June 23 - July 24, 2009
Pro Arts Gallery
Oakland, CA