Gestation is an interactive responsive environment. It contains two integrated spaces. One gallery contains a surround sound field, generated in real time using video sensing equipment (visible to visitors only as a small security video camera in the middle of the roof) that maps the behaviour and movement patterns of the visitors on to real-time audio algorithms providing a tight gestural relationship with their movement and behaviour patterns. No pre-recorded material is being used in the generation of the sounds, they are all generated algorithmically in realtime, creating evolving streams of sound.
In the second gallery, a large projected image represents the development of new human life in response to the activity in the first gallery. The image background represents a sea of life forming cells. Additional layers are formed by the development of new foetuses. Each foetus starts to grow at the point at which particularly dynamic activity is sensed in the first gallery.
The aesthetic of the sound environment is a carefully tended intimately textured sound. It is intended to create a viscous, fluid environment for the making of life . The qualities of this sound change in relation to the direction, speed of movement and number of people within the space. In addition to the underscore sound, more contained points of interest are tied to the creation of each new foetus, and are associated with the position within the gallery space at which that activity is sensed. The growth sounds express the qualities of life forming: the binding of cells, the development of human form, and the growth of the foetus.
Over the last five years I have collected ultra-sound videos from friends and acquaintances that have had children. The videos are all of their first-born children and form the basis of the moving images. The cells begin growth at a point in the two-dimensional grid associated with the sensed movement in Gallery Two, and grow at a rate associated with the dynamic of that activity. Varying rates of growth are associated with thresholds of activity.
Participants in the sound gallery cannot see the visual element without leaving the gallery space. They can make life, but not observe it at the same time.
The two galleries are detached to illustrate the hidden outcomes of our activities. This approach also allows the visitors to be more deeply engaged in the details of the sound environment, in the hope that they will more consciously engage with the fluidity and variability of the sounds.