Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Sonic Wallpapers at Knitting & Stitching Show 2012

Its been a while now since we launched our latest touring exhibition, 'Sonic Wallpapers' at the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace (11th -14th October), so we thought we would share with you how it went.

As regular readers of this blog will know, Sonic Wallpapers is an imaginative exploration of wallpaper samples from MoDA's collections.  Sound artist Dr Felicity Ford created sound-pieces based on interviews and field recordings.  Her work expands the way we think about wallpaper, drawing our ears into a context which has historically been discussed in purely visual terms. At Alexandra Palace we invited visitors to scan QR codes with their mobile phones in order to hear the sound pieces connected to a selection of ten wallpapers.

The annual Knitting & Stitching Show is a well attended event, attracting on average 10,000 visitors per day over 4 days.  There's a lot of hustle and bustle; many visitors found that MoDA's Sonic Wallpapers exhibition provided a welcome oasis of calm amid the busy crowds.

Sonic Wallpapers attracted a wide range of visitors including groups of younger people who were part of school or college parties.

Visitors were very interested in the exhibition and so we were very fortunate to have Dr Felicity Ford in attendance during the first three days of the show to answer the public's questions about the project.

Most visitors were impressed by the way that Sonic Wallpapers  asked them to think differently about an apparently ordinary subject - wallpaper.  Those who were able to listen to Felicity's sound pieces enjoyed the way that the sounds interacted with the wallpapers in front of them.

Using QR codes was something of an experiment.  We decided to use them as a cost effective way of enabling visitors to experience a different dimension (sound) using their own phones, thus removing the need for specialist sound equipment.  Visitors were generally positive about the experience of using QR codes, despite the difficulties of getting network access in some cases.  But we are aware that it didn't suit everyone, and this is something we'll bear in mind for next time.

For those visitors without a smart phone or one with poor connectivity, we were able to provide alternative listening facilities via the CD.  This contains all the soundpieces and is included free with the Sonic Wallpapers book that accompanies the exhibition.  If you would like to purchase the Sonic Wallpapers book from our online shop then please click here

Sonic Wallpapers will tour to other venues in the coming year.  If you are interested in hiring Sonic Wallpapers for your own venue please contact Sara at Expositionis for more information.  In the meantime you can see a larger version of the exhibition on the MoDA website.  Do let us know what you think!

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