re:public is a collaborative project between artist Vince Briffa and percussionist Renzo Spiteri, commissioned by Cork 2005 European Capital of Culture. The site-specific installation involved the artists collecting a variety of materials from the Sant Antnin waste recycling plant in Malta in order to construct recordable, percussion stations for the public to interact with both physically as well as digitally within the space of the Cork Vision Centre.
Conceptually, the project concerns man’s interaction with an environment as a starting point for artistic production. It is a collaboration between the artist as provider of the tools for creation and the public as artist. The work brings into play sounds made through the creative use of re-cycled materials which, although present in our day-to-day, are seldom thought of as tools for artistic creation, where the participating public becomes not only the performer, but also the composer, arranger and recording engineer in one continuous session.
The process follows the basic production stages of:
• Sound performance
• The recording of the sound
• The manipulation of the various sounds recorded and
• The Final audio CD production
On entering the space, the visitor is registered, assigned to one of the support staff members and shown into the exhibition space – an area explaining the project. The visitor is then taken to the first space of interaction, where a sound recording of that performance will commence. Once finished from the first space, the visitor will repeat this process and perform in all the various environments. These spaces are designed to provide the participant with diverse sensorial and material experiences promising a rich variety of possible sounds, textures and rhythms. Once recorded, these tracks act as essential core material for the eventual production of a very personal soundscape.
The second stage of the project deals with the manipulation of the recorded sounds to form the soundscape. The visitor is shown to a workstation in a separate area of the installation space The previously recorded files are present on this workstation and the participant, together with his/her helper manipulates the sound clips to produce a unique and personal soundscape. Other soundclips produced from previous visitors can also be incorporated in the piece thus re-enforcing the concept of ‘public’ being both a private and a collective creator.
The end piece is transferred to the CD cutting workstation where it is recorded as an audio CD for the visitor to take home. re:public is a project that provides a platform for a wide public interaction, participation and debate.