Art in Public Places Installation


The “Soundscape” Installation by Sara Cummings of the Kason Group Inc., utilizes the prevalence of wind within our natural surroundings to facilitate sound. As the wind is drawn in through reed like tubes, the physical structure references both a vessel and conceptually the act of breathing. The structure is equally divided, each half a conical inverse of the other, and the volumes can be entered from either side. One half tapers towards the sky, upward and inward, and references a man-made traditional vernacular architecture alluding to shelter, protection and dwelling. The other half organically splays outward in an abstracted characterization of desert flora, and musical pipe organs. Each half represents the dichotomies of a natural & cultural environment; inside vs. outside; organic vs. man-made; harmony vs. discord; wild vs. tame.

Each pipe tapers at the top to catch the wind, as it blows across the openings of the tubes. Listening portals are placed at various levels in the pipes to facilitate the ambient sounds. The pipes are intended to sound mainly on windy days, but one should be able to hear a sonic environment at all times – in much the same way that you ‘hear the ocean’ inside empty seashells.

*Temporary Installations Made for the Environment (T.I.M.E.) is part of the Art in Public Places Program of New Mexico Arts. Each year the board commissions environmentally based artworks to respond to the cultural and environmental histories of the area.