TRUSS (2019)

Research-based sound installation project. A first iteration was presented in Expanded Practice, a public process-driven residency at Knot Space in Ottawa.

Explorations into the materiality of sound conducted by composing with the spatial aspects of the Knot Project Space. Focusing on the Alexandra Bridge and its distinctive, public tones as a source recording, I transposed into the space the engineering logic of the bridge’s truss system, the structural integrity of which is dependent upon a balance of compression, tension and mutual support. Anchoring activated piano wires to the walls and ceiling beams, my installation accumulate materials to propose different series of sonic shapes: vibrating, entangled architectures housing a collective resonance.

This structure translates (and filters) field recordings made on and around Alexandra Bridge. Sound becomes the material of a poetics of relations. The ad-hoc « string figure » is a way of experimenting with the structural logic of a truss that uses tension and compression to support and distribute forces across space. I’m an amateur toying with engineering, making it strange, and allowing us to inhabit a space that resists human intelligibility. Background noises is foregrounded as « vibrant matter » — a weirdness that considers agency beyond the human and extends to metals, air pressure, electricity, energies, etc.

How does material resonances / entanglements open space to enact other forms of togetherness ? Along with working with the subarchitecture of Alexandra Bridge (the thingness peripheral to its actual function within urban space), I also engage the minor narratives related to it, stories that contrasts with the official heritage narrative.

I acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

marc a. reinhardt 2022