mark fell





remote systems

an interactive sound installation in ponds forge leisure centre sheffield, commisioned by lovebytes for the year of photograhic image 1998.

Remote systems was an exploration of hidden interaction, where people were treated as environmental events, unaware of their role within the system and the distored relationship between cause and effect. The piece was situated in a busy leisure centre and over a period of 6 weeks it went through various incarnations, each having a different physical set up and a different set of sound generating algorithms.


In one case, motion sensors were set up on a balcony overlooking a lobby, these were arranged in a semicircle and tracked the movements of people entering the building. This arrangement led to a series of speakers at the other side of the building on a roof top garden, these were arranged in a matching semicircle that was rotated and resized. When people entered the building, their movements were fed into an algorithm that generated patterns. Here the cause and effect were both physically and temporaly dislocated. However, at a specific point on the rooftop, there was a small window about 1 foot in diameter. Through this, and through other obstacles and stairwells, one could actually make the connection between the movements of people entering the space and the sound on the rooftop.'

in another situation the speakers were distributed along a concrete corridor. this lead under the seating along a large rectangular pool. as people entered the corridor their passing created a sound that repeated over each speaker from near to far. and this in turn was looped over a minute. so by the end of the day there was a complex layered sound travelling along the space. i refered to this as "growing" sound in space.

© mark fell, modified November 30, 2015, at 05:58 PM PST edit print