Monday, November 1, 2010

Space & Place

While reading the early section about how a mere space can be emotionally charged to become a place, I was instantly reminded of a Hey Arnold! episode, Gerald Field. Arnold and company couldn't find a good place to play baseball and complained about how adults were never letting them have fun, etc. One day, Arnold and Gerald walked by an old, abandoned lot. It's practically a junkyard, but they saw a place in it, and recruited their friends to clean it up and turn it into a baseball field. It was an amazing transformation of a space into a place.

Tuan mentions that sound is a space. When I'm editing some audio, though my body is in my room or studio, my mind is in the space where that audio was recorded. If I personally recorded the files, then it becomes a place because I know how everyone was acting at the time, along with the location, time of day, etc. This changes how I work, but it's a bit hard to explain how exactly. Conversely, a place without sound feels unnatural and even creepy. Sometimes it can even be disorienting if you are able to hear in only one ear, if you were to stand right next to a soundproofing panel, for instance. One major example of a soundless place, though I can't remember the name, is a large, perfectly soundproof room with just a small catwalk so people can walk into the middle of the area. You can hear your heartbeat in your ears, and if someone faces away from you and talks, you can't hear them. There's a feeling of unease but also if intrigue, so this soundless space becomes a sort of place.

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