Forests, rain, traffic — all seem to sound louder in the dark of night. For sighted people, hearing is the center point of attention only when visual input is absent or unclear. Cheldon Paterson’s Transport Station, composed as an audiovisual diptych (though is also released via podcast as audio-only) plays with this tendency through spatial isolation of the audio and visual components of the work, so that they can be experienced both together and apart.
In video form, Paterson’s audio comes first, setting up hearing as the primary mode of perceiving one’s environment. Listeners hear field recordings from urban and natural environments that have been twisted and turned on themselves through turntablism and sampling. The second half of the piece is accompanied by video, which employs the kaleidoscope as a visual metaphor for how the transformation of familiar sounds affects the imagination.
While the interaction of sight and sound is usually clarifying to the senses, Paterson’s approach refracts memory and imagination, forcing the viewer-listener to succumb to the current of sensual input or become an active participant in meaning-making.
“Transport station is the starting point of a fantastic voyage deep into your imagination. There's a wooden bench with headphones hanging above so you can wait for your ride. Sounds are constantly entering our bodies through our ears or by vibrations felt everywhere. Our brains have this amazing ability to cancel out familiar frequencies like the humming of a fan, fridge noise, and even the steady flow of highway traffic. With my installation, I wanted to examine what happens when familiar sounds are manipulated with the absence of sight as a reference and taken out of context.”
Transport Station was composed by Cheldon Paterson aka SlowPitchSound.