Project 2 was a truly memorable project for me as I got to work with my friends and we created art in the most interesting setting… the toilet.
For this group project, we were tasked to find everyday objects in school to use as our sound installation, creating an experience and conveying ideas through sounds.
Team Members: Calista, Claudia, Lydia, Sammi, Vanessa
Title: Our Shared Space: Sounds of the Toilet
Artist Statement: Toilets are a shared space amongst people from all walks of life; and within these space are more often than not, unspoken rules for people to follow. Flush the toilet after using, use only what you must. ‘Toilets: Our Shared Space’ explores the nature of getting people together, and with a set of simple but open instructions, to create a piece of music together; and enjoy the symphony of the space as itself.
Work Description: Site installation that prompts people to work together to create a performance piece for the toilet user (middle cubicle) by only using what they can find in the toilet. The toilet user will be experiencing an all-around enhanced simulation, truly appreciating the blend of sounds the toilet ‘makes’ from different people.
When we were still discussing about places we can use in school, once the idea of using ‘the toilet’ popped up, we had so many ideas! Originally we were thinking more along the lines of building realistic site installations to remind people of the user’s experience in the toilet or to recreate the sounds and motions of the flush to represent something else.
Michael however felt that we should engage directly with the site, and after tweaking our idea, that’s what we did!
Please refer to Lydia’s post! She discussed more in depth about how we got inspired through other cool installation works, and the building + plan layout of our idea.
In order to create a smooth flow in our presentation, we told do several dry runs to test the possible sounds that could be made from the toilet, how do we want to engage people to use them.
There were possible problems that could arise and had be taken into consideration:
- designing of instructions: how to make people understand the beats
- people may feel left out if they are not being engaged to do anything in that space
- should the music to be played freely or with fixed beats/sounds
- how to coordinate people to work together
Please refer to Calista’s post where she discusses more about the problems and plans to deal with it.
In the end after repeated dry runs in the toilet testing out various presentation style, we decided to limit our tryout-audience. In case people may be unsure of what beats they can do, we created some prompts to kick start the rhythm via instructions cards.
Please refer to Van’s post where she explains more in detail about our solution to the problems!
On our presentation day, we received great support from our class with 6 enthusiastic volunteers: Adithi, Chris, Jason, Nadia, Trey, Xuanfei + Michael to try out our installation piece
While the rest of the class went for a break, we explained our work to our musicians first and performed a live demonstration of what they are expected to do. The results worked even better than expected as they were really creative with using props in the toilet to creative more interesting mixes of sounds/beats than we thought of. It was nice to see how we could get them to work together to orchestrate the piece when it was time for them to play for the rest of the class, which fulfils our purpose as we want create that sense of harmony in the shared toilet space.
Please refer to Lydia’s post for more photos and videos!
I was really happy to see people enjoying the interaction our installation provide, not just between the musicians but also engaging with the audience; everyone in the space of the toilet. I am proud to be part of this team as it pushes new idea boundaries that I would never have thought of it I were to do. Not only is this installation fun, it is also meaningful in getting people to appreciate an experience that happens to us in our daily lives. I think it would be cool if this installation concept was brought out beyond the doors of ADM, bringing a collection of different results from new groups of people creating new sounds in new toilet settings.
Hope you enjoyed our piece! ◡̈⃝