Nomadic Noise Residency Collaborators

Labspace Studio - Artists/Curators


Toronto, Canada


Labspace Studio, run by John Loerchner and Laura Mendes, develops interdisciplinary art projects, curates large-scale exhibitions, experiments w/ new ideas & methods of collaboration, and brings together people to mind-meld, collaborate, and showcase new work to the world.


Twitter: @labspacestudio



Headphones ProjectNomadic Residency Adventure #4

[The following is a series of messy thoughts, mock-ups, photos and ideas-in-progress for a collaboration between TIMEANDDESIRE & Labspace Studio.]

urban noise/ white noise/ auditory information/ private vs. public

Some concepts/questions we discussed in previous meetings…
-Is eavesdropping a byproduct of living in a city?
-Is the act of eavesdropping subversive?
-What constitutes public & private auditory information?
-Do people take for granted their “auditory” footprint?
-Do snippets of conversations intrigue, disgruntle or amuse the passers by?
-When is the utterances of what we say— for us, for our friends in conversation, or to be intentionally overheard?

(How do we manifest this project, both site-specifically and in a gallery context?)

-Fabricate covert eavesdropping headphones to record external auditory information
-Visit various sites in the Queen West Triangle and use these covert tools to collect auditory data
-Re-frame this data in installation form in a gallery context

Tools to build headphone prototypes…
Old headphones, lapel mics, screw gun, audio adapters, audio software

Ideas for gallery installation…
(POD idea)
Free-standing structure divided into four sections
-4 separate immersive environments w/ directional speaker
-each section mimics an eavesdropping location in the QW area (i.e. park, restaurant, dentist office, etc)

(Sound booth idea w/ interactive headphones)
-Distribute eavesdropping headphones at gallery for people to use and collect data on site
-Stream data from sound booth

Where we’re at…

We’re currently working through all our above ideas. As it stands, we have two functioning headphones. We’ll be collecting our preliminary data/ covertly eavesdropping this Saturday.

Stay tuned for the results…







Speakers and footstepsNomadic Residency Adventure #2

Laura’s thoughts…

Upper Union Station is a strange, transient place. During the day it’s full of hurried commuters, darting every which way, standing around, watching, waiting, struggling to hear the announcements on the loudspeakers above.

But at night, everything changes. At night, when the ticket collectors have all gone home, and the lights are dim, and the people are gone, the acoustics are transformed. Every sound and sensation is maximized. Footsteps click clacking on a marble floor. The static and crackle of speakers overhead.

At night, I see Upper Union Station as a theatrical stage set, a liminal, lonely space, just waiting for someone to arrive.

A loose idea:
I’m envisioning an interactive sound piece that would utilize the already existing speaker system in Union Station to amplify the acoustics and sensation of being alone at night.

A series of microphones installed along the perimeter of the site would record the passing sound of a person’s footsteps as they enter a presumably empty station.

The recording would playback on a delayed timer, giving the unassuming “performer” just enough time to walk across the room. Once seated or stationary, the speakers overhead would playback the sound of the performer’s footsteps.

(In discussions with my group, we discussed how footsteps are auditory identifiers; how they can be considered personal portraits of their maker; the auditory equivalent to a thumbprint, if you will.) Everyone has their own unique stride.

I’m interested in the tension created when one finds them self alone in Union Station, confronted by the sounds of ¬†footsteps from an unknown source. I’m equally interested in the exact moment (the release of tension) when the performer finally realizes that the footsteps are their own.

I wonder if that would be comforting?

Talk BackNomadic Residency Adventure #2

John’s hypothetical intervention:

A microphone hung in the entrance of Union Station invites individuals to interact. Hidden speakers feed a similarly placed microphone in a different station and a communication portal is opened. Disconnected travellers are given the opportunity to connect with strangers in distant places.

Caution Please Slow DownNomadic Residency Adventure #1

[Some thoughts on silence I'm exploring in response to our silent sound walk...]

…what are the visual qualities of silence? can silence take on visual forms, or is it something in-between forms? something that negates forms? something tactile? something in between thoughts? in between moments? in between spaces? can silence truly exist in a city?

=ROUND((A2-A3+0.004)*75000)Nomadic Residency Adventure #1

If you walk around Toronto and record your positioning with a GPS you’ll get Northerly coordinates most likely in the 43.somethings. If you run that positioning data through the equation that titles this article you will most likely end up with an array of numbers in the audible spectrum with a large enough variation from point to point to have a noticeable difference in pitch…unless of course you weren’t moving when you collected your GPS data.

A similar basic equation:


could be created for a volume variable (works out between 1-100) from the Westerly data and mapped to the volume of the piece….

So for example the first 150 seconds of our walk would look like the below array of numbers viewed as modified GPS data. Now all we need is an app that converts two arrays of data into a SINE curve and adjusts pitch and volume on the fly as it runs through the array.

In less programmy terms what does this mean? It means we are half way towards a program that makes a sound that corresponds to walking around TO. Just look at the data below and you can almost hear it. It would probably sound something like a fly you can’t swat, or not at all…I plan to find out…

Pitch – X Coordinates – ROUND((A2-A3+0.004)*75000)

Volume – Y Coordinates – ROUND((C2-C3+0.004)*15000)