forthcoming book & sound works - focusing on side setbacks in Japan - taking a hint from a book on the overlooked aspects of urban design


I am a tourist (3)

I listen in to these places. I watch them closely. sound and visual interchangeable; do I see sound, either in situ or memory ? do I hear imagery  ? if I describe a single element from any of these locations it could be about either sound or vision; a swing slowing to an almost imperceivable back and forth. a women’s shoes approaching, passing by and fading into the distance. a haze in the air. I have to ask myself if I am always tourist even amongst the familiar. I am always finding newness, always aware of momentary time and experience. yes, tourist but not tourist - not chasing guidebooks or those sights that are so famous they are obscured by the physical result of said fame and, often, by the perceptions they have placed on them. This also is true of sound and sound tourism; the idyll, the attempt to hear what one wants to hear rather than what is there.

my daughter, the artist Pheobe riley law, created a set of pieces for her installation during our time in Japan, entitled ‘tourist’. the photographic images that formed part of each structure were taken in the tourist hotspot Arashiyama bamboo grove in Kyoto. in them Pheobe is leaning in, over and through the reed fences along the path. she is looking at nothing that is meant to draw the eye there. she is celebrating her own movement through that space and time in her life. as an artist she is working through the role of gesture and playfulness. In my work on this trip I too am celebrating not only the overlooked aspects of the subject but, I have to admit, my own point in time. I hear things in this way - in this time - in this sense of what fascinates me and in the line between attempting to convey that and expecting it to be audible to everyone there is tension.

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