Introducing the wasteland collective…Euan Maharg + Guy Phenix
This project raises awareness of wasteland acoustics through photography and sonic installation. The essence of a wasteland is absence – physical absence and the absence of program. These absences mean that the instrumental qualities wastelands are different to that of occupied land. As occupation leaves, a site goes from producing sound to absorbing sound. From making a noise to near silence.
This is an acoustic wasteland.
I aim to document the acoustic wastelands left behind by 2 railway sites along Leith Walk – the old tram depot/repair shop and a cut-off bridge above the road itself.
The effect of having such a quite place amongst a great urban noise is profound. Any architecture on-site acts as a resonating chamber like that of a violin – changing the sound as materials reverberate and absorb the waves around.
Any open space* is laid bare to every noise in all directions – creating a soup of distant roars that is punctuated by the more delicate calls of birds and other small sounds that are related to the sites ecology and decay. The height and size of an open wasteland determine this acousmatic distance**.
*a space that is open in more directions that it is closed
**acousmatic – a sound in a film or in the landscape where the source is obscured.