Bird Calls (more info about where this started here on my blog and here on the BCSC blog) is an intervention to play with ideas of community and nature. While the artist in residence at the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture, I became interested in the community notice boards located at the grocery store in the village down the mountain. I poset a request for local birdsongs to generate some content for the work that I am making and these are two of the responses I received. Part of this comes from the realization that my number in Australia is temporary and giving it out is consequence free. Having a temporary number with voicemail to play with is kind of amazing.
-n 1. a noisy confused place or situation.
[This post was originally written for the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture Blog while I was the artist in residence there.]
On the way up to Bogong Village from Melbourne, the drive was quite an experience. I’ve never driven on the left side of the road and I’ve never driven a car with the driver on the right, much less a manual with the driver on the right. Doing the majority of the drive, about 3.5 hours of freeway, two-lane, village and even some mountain road was quite the experience. Interestingly, instead of relaxing and enjoying the scenery I was instead completely focused on the road markings and signage. The signs vary a great deal in both design and language from what I am familiar with in the United States but since I have a background in graphic design, I really appreciated the experience. It feels as though I’ve developed an intimate relationship with the infrastructural signage of the region. Intimate in that traffic accidents can be harmful or deadly.
Along the way, we stopped at a variety of locations as we got closer to Bogong Village to put up fliers for the listening walk that I will be doing later in my residency. The places we stopped were all community hubs of some sort. Locations visited by many different people and for a variety of reasons. We posted at grocery stores, news outlets, the post office notice board, the village info centers and even an all purpose outdoors/hardware/cookware/odds-n-ends shop. The community notice boards at the post offices and info centers were rich tapestries of local activity. There is no shortage of upcoming mountain biking events. Looking for volunteer opportunities to help prevent the spread of an invasive species? There’s a group looking for help. Interested in learning new beading techniques? There’s two classes available in which the first will make a basic snowflake hanger and the second will move on to bracelets. In the market for a high-end, lightly used road bike? Call Mark at 043 234 7156 with any questions. Also, please keep an eye on these boards for the most up to date fire and fire safety related information.
The grocery stores used a system of cards that could be filled out and slid into tracks in the wall. It’s a complete system ready for posting. There was even a high-lighter to add emphasis to the handwritten messages on the cards. There’s Craigslist but there’s also the community notice board at the local IGA. They serve a similar function. They have about the same design aesthetic. Neither seems any more reliable. It’s a message in a bottle left in a place where people know to look. Connections can form and needs can be met. There’s a sofa for sale. Call me @ 043 234 7156. Lost, black lab. Answers to the name Ringo. Please call 043 234 7156 if found. Small reward.
All content ©2014 Alex Braidwood unless otherwise stated.
- mysterious hum
- sonic fiction