ROSE COURT OFFICE BUILDING
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
ORGANIZED BY WISE TAYLOR PARTNERSHIP
OFFICE is a site specific sound installation piece commissioned for “Rose”, a group installation project in London organized by Wise Taylor Partnership. Rose Court is an office structure in London located across the Financial Times Building near Southwark Bridge; it’s notoriety is linked to the historic Rose Theater buried beneath its foundation. The other artists involved in this project were, David Griffiths, Sharon Kivland, Patrick McBride, and Robert Millar.
This work was located on one complete office floor, empty except for an executive sized desk. Located within the desk were three amplifiers, cassette decks and two special effects units. Inside the space were three sets of stereo speakers: one pair on the desk, another mounted on opposing columns in the middle of the space and the last two mounted on the far wall. The column and wall mounted speakers were altered to produce a pitch shift, each pair one third octave lower than the next. This produced an artificial doppler shift which simulates a sound moving away from the listener.
The sound in the space was pre-recorded source material that linked the work environment to larger metaphors. Along with intermittent telephone ringing and computer keyboard sounds, were sounds of a bee hive, a reference to the activity within business architecture. The hive image also referred to the Queen pictured on the currency. Mixed into the sound field were calls of hummingbirds, recorded in tropical Southern California, a sharp contrast to the cold January weather in London; these sounds pictured the day dreaming that is part of working consciousness. The sound of a train hurled through the space periodically, representing linear thinking and logic and the model of time quantified in the business world. Train stations flanked both sides of this building. The participant could wander to any part of the space, or sit at the desk. Many stood at the windows and looked out at the London skyline.