Birds chirping, sirens blaring, video calls buzzing, toddler tantrums, balcony singing, dinner sizzling, anxious chatter, 7pm clapping for healthcare workers...send in the sounds of your daily life for this pandemic art project.
The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is collaborating with London-based experience and sound designer Yuri Suzuki to create a new work of art—a crowdsourced archive of sounds captured around the world during this global pandemic. The collected sounds from audio and video of life in this new era will be integrated into Sound of the Earth: The Pandemic Chapter, a digital version of Sound of the Earth: Chapter 2, the work that Suzuki created for speechless: different by design. This major multisensory exhibition co-organized by the DMA and the High Museum of Art closed early due to COVID-19.
“In this moment of tremendous change and uncertainty, we wanted to create an open platform for people to express themselves and to capture our shared experience of the fleeting moments around us during this period. Through our collective observations and the simple act of listening, we hope to provide participants with a moment of global shared empathy and a means of connection,” said Sarah Schleuning, Interim Chief Curator and The Margot B. Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design.
Sound of the Earth: The Pandemic Chapter translates elements of Suzuki’s original installation—in which the exhibition visitor encountered a range of globally crowdsourced sounds by placing their ear against the surface of a spherical sculpture—into the virtual realm and lends the project new relevance as a living record of our unprecedented historical moment that evolves in real time. This new work extends the life and vision of speechless by promoting interactivity, fostering empathy, and—in this time of isolation—bridging the distance between us through the medium of sound.
To be part of the artwork, audiences can submit sounds of their experiences during the pandemic—from cooking dinner at home, to the ambulance siren passing by, to online connections with loved ones. The sounds will be mapped onto a virtual rendering of the globe based on the location in which they were captured, culminating in a dynamic audio experience of the lives of people around the world.
Sound of the Earth: The Pandemic Chapter is part of the Museum’s #DMAatHome series of online offerings, including interactive virtual tours of the exhibitions speechless: different by design , Flores Mexicanas, and For a Dreamer of Houses; do-it-yourself art-making projects; behind-the-scenes videos, stories, and Q&As with curators and Museum staff; and online access to the DMA’s complete collection. To explore these resources and more, visit virtual.dma.org , sign up for the weekly e-newsletter Museum Mondays, and connect with the DMA on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.