Interactive sound installation
Copper string, audio, circuitry
2013 - 2015
Homing is an unique instrument that allows an audience to wander through a forest of glimmering copper strings, strung from floor to ceiling, to touch, listen and play their memories of home. Dogs barking, laughter, thunder, traffic, a piano - wherever you may be today, wherever you may live, each string of the artist Jenna Burchell’s touch-sensitive instrument Homing triggers familiar sounds that take you back to that place, real or imagined, where you know you belong, feel safe, breathe easily.
The travelling project Homing encourages audiences to talk about what home means to them in the context of diaspora. It is an opportunity to move diverse people to interact and exchange stories, embracing the differences and similarities that unite South Africans. This meticulously hand-built interactive environment has been designed to be an accessible and exciting meeting of contemporary art, sound and live interactive participation.
The unique soundscapes are recorded and collected with the local communities prior to each exhibition. Some of these memories, conversations and ambient sounds are heard raw, others processed into intricate musical tones.
Homing began its journey at Ithuba Gallery in Johannesburg and has since been featured at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, the Lovell Gallery in Capetown, the Turbine Art Fair, the World Design Capital exhibition at the Capetown Stadium and as a special project at the prestigious Art15 in London. A demonstration of the project can be seen at the following link which also speaks to some of the inspiration behind the project: https://vimeo.com/109107616. Listen to a rare recording of Homing at Art15, London here on Soundcloud. To find out when the artist will be exhibiting or speaking about the project please subscribe to the mailing list on the contacts page.
"The wires are purely a technological bridge to an aural end, linked to speakers which deliver a unique sound loop that suddenly elevates the entire setting into a compulsive pilgrimage into an audio-driven world of memory and of delight. Each strand speaks with its own special voice.” - Jaroslav Kalac, SA Arts Diary, 2014
“This evolutive “memory harp” plays sounds taken from our everyday environments, allowing the visitors to create their own tune. And, as the artist regularly adds new strings and sounds from the cities where the piece is shown, Homing also appears as a living organism, a universal creature, building delicates links between people and cultures from various countries.” - Valerie Douniaux, Be Art Magazine, 2015
Sponsors and contributors:
"Homing was first conceived in the isolated, birch forests of Hämeenkyrö, Finland where I spent a month in residence at Arteles Creative Centre. Since then Homing has been developed through generous sponsorships, pro-bono work and in-kind exchanges. I would like to thank; The Ithuba Arts Fund and National Arts Festival, Grahamstown and Sulgar-Buel Lovell Gallery for sponsoring build, travel and exhibition; Leinster Grimes for the electronic engineering; CF and Werner from A Skyline On Fire for the Pretoria audio processing; Sebastian Jamieson for the Grahamstown audio processing; Peter Willers from Walro Flex for the Copper Pigtail; Astro Aluminium for the aluminium ceiling; Maldwyn Greenwood for the audio equipment; Morné Barnardt for photography; Jaydon Meidlinger for assistance with the structural plan; Schalk Erasmus for assistance with building the structure; Tamith Hattingh and Dominic Karayiannis for their support and finally to my parents Rob and Pat Burchell, for their support and unwavering belief in me, I couldn’t ask for more in life." - JB