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JULIANNE SWARTZ: The installation, “Sine Body”, is essentially a recorded performance.
To set up the installation, I place all of the objects in the room and record myself playing each individual object using a homemade electronic device that filters out non pure sine waves, so that the tones that end up coming forth are sine waves which become sort of infinitely loopable; they just continue and continue.
Each of the vessels create their own distinct set of tones. They’re kind of like instruments made of glass and ceramic. The shape and air mass inside the vessels vary in frequency. I also can modulate the sound that they make by moving my hand over the openings, almost like molding the air when they’ve hit their resonate frequency.
It’s not a sound that has any immediately discernible content, but if you sit with that sound for a minute it becomes very physicalized and you can actually feel it resonating in your body.
JULIANNE SWARTZ: When I started to think about what the vessels should be made out of I was looking for materials that had very resonate qualities, and glass has a lot of reflectivity for sound so it will hold, it will contain sound, and also emit sound in a really clean way.
And certain ceramics have a really low porosity, so I’m using porcelain which is a very tight pore structure, which also has a high reflectivity — a little bit more absorbent, sort of a deeper sound than the glass.
I think one thing that’s interesting is to notice how the glass forms inform the ceramic forms and vice versa. I used the fired ceramics to make the indentations in the glass, and I used the already finished glass objects to manipulate the soft clay into those kind of saggy folded smushed forms. Basically I used the hard state of each material to influence the soft state of the other material.
JULIANNE SWARTZ: “Sine Body” came out of an extremely different experience of sound.
The situation was a Buddhist death ceremony for a friend. The practitioner of that ceremony, or the person who led the ceremony, played these singing bowl objects and I really felt the tactile and physical quality of those sound waves. It wasn’t like I was hearing it through my ears it was more like I was feeling it through my body, in different parts of my body.
That incident really stayed with me, and it was maybe about a year after that I started to think about producing objects that could make those sorts of resonate tones.