Thursday, August 03, 2006

neighborhood sound

it wasn't, and then one day the wall behind the el station nearest my home was painted blue. this didn't seem too surprising, considering the stop's on the blue line, (logan square) but the mesh metal silhouettes of different logan square residents, painted yellow and mounted to the wall, were definitely unexpected. and to then hear some audio coming from a couple of the yellow figures on my way home from a long, hot day at work was nearly shocking. in a good way.

when i got h
ome i remembered the newsletter from my alderman, with a small story on the station's new artful look, that arrived in the mail last week and was laying conveniently near the top of the pile in my recycling container.

so here's the deal:
the installation's called 'Cuentos en la Pared / Story on the Wall and is a collaboration between six senior citizens from nearby apartments and six high school students, with assistance from the logan square neighborhood association and archi-treasures. the project includes the silhouettes, a timeline of community events and multilingual interviews with more than 130 residents of logan square.

sounds cool enough as is, but what's even more impressive to me is that the audio coming out of a speaker
hung behind one of the silhouettes was pretty creatively produced - with repetition, collage, careful rhythm and well-chosen excerpts. it doesn't tell one person's story in a linear fashion, as you might expect from an oral history -type public project mounted in a highly-trafficked pedestrian area.

no, the audio installation hanging out side the logan square blue line station qualifies as Real Audio Art. how do i know? by the confused looks on the people who stopped for a few seconds (seldom longer) to check out what was up with all that noise, then continued on their way, clearly perplexed.

but don't just take my word for it. watch and listen for yourself.

good job, logan square!!

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