Noise Intercepted Collaborators

Karen Chisvin - architect and visual artist


Toronto, Canada

Why do I want to participate?

This sounds like an exciting opportunity to explore a different modality than I am used to in my work. I will be doing a little travelling this year and hope that some of the challenges coincide with those travel.



Viewing “A Toronto Symphony” from 7.5 km awayNoise Challenge #1: The Pulse

Despite the media attention leading up to the event, I only became aware of Tod Machover’s A Toronto Symphony¬†project the day this first challenge was announced. Much to my delight I discovered that this symphony – composed of many sounds that comprise the “pulse” of the city – would be synced to a light show at the CN Tower. Due to the nature of the geography and topography of Toronto, I have a living room view of the CN Tower at this time of year when there are still no leaves on the trees. Upon checking the running time for the concert I found that it would also be webcast – though the start time was an hour later than I’d first thought. So for a period of about 2 hours, I watched the lights on the CN Tower. During the beginning of the concert, I had buffering problems and so my sound track at the beginning was The Eagles’ Hotel California album that my son was playing. Later, when during some of my forays onto the balcony to take pictures, I was serenaded by the sirens of emergency vehicles, the drone of traffic on Avenue Road and Eglinton, and the sounds of airplanes passing overhead – punctuated intermittently by wind chimes handing on a neighbour’s deck. As I used only an 18mp digital camera, much of the light show was highly viewable and hardly recordable. ¬† The accompanying image represents Roy Thomson Hall, the CN Tower, and my house located on an altered topographic map of the city. The photographs are in time sequence of the views of the lights on the tower, and my time-filling while waiting for the concert.