Why do I want to participate?
I have been studying and playing with sound for years, and recently finished my dissertation on how a person can understand place better through sound alone. I also recently moved to the biggest city I've ever lived in - Chicago. I'd love to put what I learned into practice in this context while getting to know my urban surroundings better.
Within my little apartment in Chicago the radiators charge up and softly simmer at odd times, without relation to temperature. I mostly ignore it when it catcalls and whistles at me in the bathroom, just a part of the daily routine.
Today the bathroom radiator got the attention its always whining about. I recorded, normalized, equalized, phasered, and glorified it into the spaceship it’s always dreamed of being…
My pulse is set to the city’s already, each day traveling to the heart of the city for work, for money, to get up, to do something, to move around. Every one seems dead set on getting off their feet. We save our precious energy for thinking, doing, pandering, producing… We save our time by getting around on all the things that move us without us having to move. What are they?
Trains, elevators, escalators, buses, cars… My pulse is set to the Red Line CTA train every morning. It’s no accident that transportation ways are often described in medical language as arteries. I stand underground and wait in this natural/unnatural habitat, a tunnel beneath the city. I use my cell phone for this task, embodying my existence as a commuter.
This is it right now, the heart beat of Chicago, moving people around like red blood cells, from an underground tunnel to nine stories above the city. The sounds are heard as if overheard, if a phone call had ended and we both forgot to hang up.
I walk because I have to. I take the elevator up nine floors. I ring the doorbell. I’m in. Let work begin.