Speaker Space is an experimental platform for dedicated sound works, located at the entrance of Te Tuhi. This ongoing series will offer artists an opportunity to create and exhibit works that are dedicated to sound.
For the inaugural show, Torben Tilly and Robin Watkins collaborate to explore the materiality of time. Fig 3. Infinity – Created Hollow Spaces is made up of a sound component which exists in the Speaker Space, and a physical display in the gallery, in the form of an LP and its cover.
For the sound component, Grant Tilly’s recorded voice reads a passage from J.W. Dunne’s 1927 book An Experiment With Time. The recording appears incoherent as if it was being played in reverse, but at the same time, words and sentences can periodically be understood. A duality in the voice is also apparent, mirroring itself as if there was no end or beginning to its narrative trajectory. Accompanying the reading is a tone that replicates a Shepard’s Scale, which creates the effect of being stuck in a paradoxical loop. Named after its developer Roger Shepard, the Shepard’s Scale creates the illusion of a tone continually ascending or, conversely, descending.
The original vinyl recording is displayed in the gallery, at some distance from its audible impression. Seeing the LP in the gallery creates a curious experiential inversion: instead of searching for something to help regain balance and orientation amid the spiraling experience of the voice and tone, the experience of looking at the LP is still and contemplative. Through the combination of the mirrored voice, paradoxical scale and the affectively stabilising LP, Tilly and Watkins create a compelling site for a vortex of time.
fig 3. Infinity-Created Hollow Spaces, curated by Andrew Kennedy as an additional contribution to the international group show Unstuck in Time, 2 August-26 October 2014.
Torben Tilly (NZ, lives and works in Auckland) traverses the fields of sound, moving image, performance and installation. Recent work weaves together ideas of synchronicity, time travel and time consciousness, exploring methods in which media and material processes may represent, embody or manipulate the passing of time.
Robin Watkins (Sweden, lives and works in Berlin) works collaboratively with Nina Canell in various expanded formats, while also maintaining an independent practice publishing in sound and print.