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Mind the World

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Kanazawa, 2004)

Mind the World was Sound Bum’s contribution to Encounters in the 21st Century: Polyphony – Emerging Resonances, the inaugural exhibition at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2004/10/9 ~ 2005/3/21).

This was our second Sound Bum installation developed for a museum in collaboration with Yoshihiro Kawasaki (NADI); the first being Listen! for the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. On a wall four meters in height and 27 in length, we created a minimal rendition of a world map, and hung headphones linked to sounds from 24 locations around the world.

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The photo above shows the wall ten days before the exhibition’s scheduled opening. The wood benches made by IDEE had already been delivered.

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October 9: the museum opens with Encounters in the 21st Century: Polyphony – Emerging Resonances, which sees some 30,000 visitors the first two days.

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Circular in plan with a diameter of 113 meters and exterior walls made entirely of glass, the museum designed by SANAA (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa) has no front or back, no property walls, and is open to the city much like a public park. The photo is a view from the south, of the library.

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The view from the west shows the 27-meter wall of the Sound Bum exhibit space. To the far right is the Issey Miyake APOC exhibit space.

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We placed the bench against the wall, and above it mapped sounds from 24 locations. Kawasaki reedited all the sounds expressly for this exhibit.

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A visitor holds the London headset in her hand. Members of the art, design, and architecture fraternities came from all over the world.

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The sounds of Japan included those from Mogami (Tohoku), Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Arima, and Yakushima. The sounds from around the world included not only those recorded by Kawasaki, but by Sound Bum Haruo Okada, and others as well.

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Visual information was restricted to linear renditions of coastlines and rivers, place names, and recording dates only.

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The exhibit title. This was Sound Bum’s third exhibit design following Listen! (2003) at MeSci.

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Kawasaki spoke for 30 minutes in his Artist Relay Talk on the subject of sound design, starting with St. GIGA. He ended by opening the doors and inviting participants to open their ears to the sound of the space.

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The world map was laid out in a horizontal orientation; the sounds positioned according to longitudinal data. Still, we suspect, there were very few visitors who envisioned this schematic upon seeing the exhibit.
Comparing the relative position and scale of the different locations is interesting too, but that’s a story in itself.

Mind the World (Mind the World: Wall)
Held: 2004/10/9 ~ 2005/3/21

Curated by the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Shin Kurosawa, Yuko Hasegawa, Hiromi Ohashi)
Production: Sound Bum Project
Sound design: Yoshihiro Kawasaki (NADI)
Field recordings: Yoshihiro Kawasaki (NADI), Haruo Okada (Pioneer), Hiroki Kobayashi, Yoshiaki Nishimura (LW)
Wall design: Tariho Fujimoto, Yoshiaki Nishimura (LW)

Equipment provided by: Pioneer Corporation, Audio-Technica Corporation, Fostex Company
Furniture production: Hand Factory Co., Ltd. (Morikazu Omura)

Special thanks to: Yumiko Haruki, Kaname Okajima (IDEE), Ryosuke Kimura, Tsuyoshi Iwasaki, Tomoo Kawasaki, Ryuichi Iwamasa (GK Tech)

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