TENSION

 

TENSION |2014|
Wooden box, brackets, egg crate grilles, vinyl wrap, audio equipment, projector
Durational soundscape and installation. 118 x 30 x 40 cm

Tachypsychia is the sense of an altered perception of time, induced, among other things, by fear, causing events to appear slowed down or sped into a blur of motion.

Fractured, contextless news footage playing out at varying speed of the 16 day war between Israel and Lebanon (dubbed Operation Grape of Wrath), appears on a screen above a vent-like object emitting a violent and hypnotic soundscape, at once far-off, then all-encompassing. The soundscape and sequence of images coexist but interact by chance only.
 

“Nobody speaks to us. We have to phone home to find out what’s going on and our parents beg for us to leave and come home. The Kibbutzniks have vanished behind their steel shutters and we’ve been told to stay in the bomb shelters. Some people still try to hitch a lift to Qiryat Shmona or anywhere when not working in the laundry or the kitchen or the hotel but hardly anyone drives by anymore. When they do they don’t like to stop. The only people left in the hotel now are journalists and the cinema is closed. Even the nightclub went. People visited Kfar Blum from pretty far but it’s only the volunteers that turn up at meal times in the dining hall now. The shutters are down but the food is laid out and we help ourselves. Someone painted KFAR BOOM on the shelter wall and we talk and drink down there or watch TV but inevitably go outside to see what’s going on because it all feels so insane. One of the volunteers turned out to be an ex-soldier and one night he began to name the weaponry lighting up the night sky in front of us. He spoke about the tactical approach he thought the Israelis were using and made a guess of what was to come and the probable time it would end. It would be devastating, he said, but this couldn’t last as it was just too expensive. Around 2am everything stopped on both sides as he said it would. The second time we were hit he left. The volunteers in the dining hall were laughing and joking when it began to shake violently and with such a strange sound that everyone looked about with a sort of excitement and terror. We ran out to find the damage and picked out shrapnel from the crater like a prize. The third time the Kibbutz was hit was the closest to the volunteer huts, and we’ve decided enough is enough. In a way it’s been one of the best experiences of my life.”
Kibbutz Kfar Blum volunteer, February-April 1996

 

Below are the original field recordings created for the project in two vast spaces,
before being decelerated and edited together to form the audio of the installation.

 
 
 

 

© 2014 PM BROWNE