Dispersal (2019) by Amy Beeston

Sound installation (2019).
3.6 m x 3.6 m x 2.2 m. Inkjet prints, cardinal buoy loudspeaker set, safe water microphone housing, hazard tapes, codebook, interface and laptop for sound analysis and generation.

Dispersal is a new interactive work that starts its life during the Stone Fringe Sound exhibition at Northlight Gallery, Stromness.

Twelve wall panels show the prevailing wind direction in Stromness throughout the year, with data aggregated monthly since May 2011. The orange colour depicts the current month (with January at the far left showing a northerly spike). Black and grey lines provide short-term context, replicating the previous and next month’s data.

The audible sound also relates to the wind, with layers composed by recycling all the wind-infested material that would usually be discarded during audio broadcast or recording projects such as Reveil and Stromnophony.

The four loudspeakers are decorated in yellow and black, the colours of the cardinal buoys marking the North, South, East and West of obstacle at sea. Following these compass points, sound material is associated with the speakers in which it might most plausibly occur – providing human activity and gentle wind along the street axis (North-South), throbbing bass-filled boat engines and blustery gales from the sea (East), and high frequency bird sound from the hill behind the town (West).

The selection of specific sound material is governed by live sound in the gallery space. Sound is detected via a windspinner and microphone dressed in red and white, the colours of ‘safe water’ in the ocean, using sound analysis processes that are being developed with the community during the exhibition.


Amy Beeston