| rhizone | burning seedpod audiospace

Posted on November 19, 2011


The Burning Seed Festival came around for the second time, with a new location of Matong State Forest, Near Wagga Wagga NSW. Last year it was held in Bellingen, as part of the participation culture of the event I took along my audio recorder and captured around 15 hours of field recordings (interviews music and other sounds).

see burningmanaustralia.com and for the ‘parent’ gathering burningman.com/

Ive had the challenge of wondering how best to present audio pieces since I started making them, being too small and independent to use radio and finding podcasts useful but challenging to deliver well (tech, RSS, itunes compliant etc). So far the best tool has been soundcloud which is a great social media platform.

Ive slowly trawled through these recordings and asssembled a few different pieces which are up on soundcloud:

Burning Seed Festival ’10 – Opening Ceremony

Burning Seed Festival ’10 – Coco Poco Loco

Burning Seed Festival ’10 – Bacchus

| rhizone | seedpod audiospace

The festival is non-profit and ticket sales go directly towards items like on simple on site infrastructure (toilets) and funding arts grants. I was interested in applying for one this year to build an audio chillspace. The grant deadline passed but I was urged to apply anyway by a friend, luckily it was accepted and then began the process of making it into reality. A good kick in the butt for editing deadlines and making it happen.

from the grant application: Philosophical Statement: What the art means to you and what you are trying to communicate to participants.

| rhizome | : An expanding underground root system, sending up above ground shoots to form a vast network. Difficult to uproot. If separated into pieces, each piece may give rise to a new plant. The rhizome spreads underground, it is the first vegetation to sprout back after the flames.

| zone | : A given area distinguished on the basis of a particular characteristic, use or restriction.

| rhizone | : This space is characterised by its quiet audio focus, reflecting on the previous years moments during quiet times of this years gathering. Many spaces may have louder offerings which are live and in the moment, this space may slice a niche with those who may have unusual quieter desires. It is the artists intention for this space to sprout other similar audio/video reflective spaces in future years – curated by different characters each time. Each time also documenting the current festival with ethnographic interview / sound doco field recording style.

| connection to synergy, seed, burning | : rhizone carries sounds from the seed year, blended with some on-location site sounds from this years setup. This reflection and combination is a synergistic blend of audio, invoking memories and transporting participants to an inward reflective space.

Original drawing sketch design:

Photos tell most of the rosy story (storms, heat exhaustion and travel logisitics aside..)

There was a few tech things which were missing which managed to pop up on site like some 12v batteries and obscure drill bits for a spontaneous grey water filter but something really cool was the candle spiral/ labrynth.

I was hoping something like this would emerge and it did through our neighbor, thanks Nix. If anyones got images from the night time rhizone please link to it below in comment or send it our way.

Response : The installation seemed to go down very well with compliments both from organiser/initiator characters, site crew and participants in general. It was great to hang around nearby and see how people were interacting with the space. Be it quiet, refelective and mediative or screaming out quotes and laughing. Those pieces were no longer bits of data on servers and hard drives, silently clicking over play counts – they were alive ! The challenge of how to present this kind of audio work had been solved. Burning seed was the perfect artisic playground for it to emerge.

Many thankyous:
Laura Wills and Will Cheeseman in Adelaide and Siri Omberg in Alice for the art project inspiration, Rosie D in Alice for grant application encouragement, Xavier and Jackie in Darwin for computer edit time (the bacchus piece), Steph and Nivelo from Burning Seed Artery crew, rhizone extra helpers James C, Emily, Tammy, Charlie. Advice and bamboo sourcing from Jeremy Wells in Sydney, Mim/Hannah/Rosa/Dave/JP in earlwood for housing the project, workshop time in the Barn and Big big gratitude to the rhizone crew: Shaw, Beth and James R.

Feeling pretty energised from the first experience as an ‘artist’ and keenly looking forward to more.