Here’s a thoughtful review from San Francisco culture blog CultureDebate.org of my narrative landscape project, “Block of Time: O’Farrell Street,” which was exhibited at the San Francisco City Centered Festival earlier this summer…
“Day three of the City Centered A Festival of Locative Media and Urban Community invited participants to an Art Walk, ten projects sited within the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. Block of Time: O’Farrell Street by Krissy Clark stood out as a resolved work that immersed the participant and was specific to the site within the Tenderloin district.
Telephone numbers were placed on the floor every few feet along O’Farrell Street, simply signposted by a balloon. Approaching the balloons in any order, participants were invited to use their mobile phones to ring the numbers. The answering voice (a voice mail box recording) was of a contemporary or previous resident of O’Farrell Street. The voices, actual residents or re-enacted voices of previous residents, spoke about themselves and their connection with the point on O’Farrell Street, on which you were standing. The tales were sometimes shocking, others sad, amusing or revealing of how their lives and the geography of the street had evolved. O’Farrell Street had many identities in the last hundred and fifty years and was once close to the sea.
As if in personal conversation, sounds from the street blended with the recorded voices, merging the past with the present. Standing in front of modern offices and parking, a house that once stood there is described. The voice is the reminiscences of a Victorian woman as she recalls her family home. Small details, such as the thickness of the carpet, evoke an O’Farrell Street of the past, in the imagination of the listener.
The soundscape as immersive site-specific experience has been frequently used by artists over the last twenty years and is increasingly adopted by arts and heritage industries. The use of mobile phones makes artwork increasingly accessible without the need for specialist hardware and provides the possibility of experimental and non-linear narrative…”
Read more here