Interactive Sound Installation
Copper string, sound, circuitry.
2013 – ongoing
Courtesy of Artist
Homing is an unique instrument that allows an audience to wander through a forest of glimmering copper strings, strung from floor to ceiling, to touch, listen and play their memories of home. Dogs barking, laughter, thunder, traffic, a piano - wherever you may be today, wherever you may live, each string of the artist Jenna Burchell’s touch-sensitive instrument Homing triggers familiar sounds that take you back to that place, real or imagined, where you know you belong, feel safe, breathe easily.
The travelling project Homing encourages audiences to talk about what home means to them in the context of diaspora. It is an opportunity to move diverse people to interact and exchange stories, embracing their differences and similarities. This meticulously hand-built interactive environment has been designed to be an accessible and exciting meeting of contemporary art, sound and live interactive participation.
The unique soundscapes are recorded and collected with the local communities prior to each exhibition. Some of these memories, conversations and ambient sounds are heard raw, others processed into intricate musical tones.
Homing began its journey at Ithuba Gallery in Johannesburg and has since been featured at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, the Lovell Gallery in Capetown, the Turbine Art Fair, the World Design Capital exhibition at the Capetown Stadium and as a special project at the prestigious Art15 in London.
Two Vivid Productions speaks to Jenna Burchell about Homing and Art15.
"Burchell's technological aptitude and craft as a sculptor are a give; what is most striking is her use of sound to create an impressionistic record of place and memory." - Artsy, 2015.
"The wires are purely a technological bridge to an aural end, linked to speakers which deliver a unique sound loop that suddenly elevates the entire setting into a compulsive pilgrimage into an audio-driven world of memory and of delight. Each strand speaks with its own special voice.” - Jaroslav Kalac, SA Arts Diary, 2014
“This evolutive “memory harp” plays sounds taken from our everyday environments, allowing the visitors to create their own tune. And, as the artist regularly adds new strings and sounds from the cities where the piece is shown, Homing also appears as a living organism, a universal creature, building delicates links between people and cultures from various countries.” - Valerie Douniaux, Be Art Magazine, 2015
"Visitors can "play" or "conduct" the dissonant notes of an urban orchestra. Burchell invites us to reflect on how these sounds evoke notions of home, but they also allow aural exploration of places unknown" - Chris Thurman, Business Day Live, 2015.
"The Room becomes a musical playroom, in which an audience reduced to childlike wonder can strum, pluck and arrange the multitude of nostalgic voices to create tiny sonic symphonies. It is in the seemingly endless permutations of sound that each lucky participant can find their own resonance" - Jaroslav Kalac, SA Arts Diary.
Website of South African Artists