De Stephen Bain & Jeff Henderson – / NOUVELLE ZÉLANDE

INSTALLATION // Soundscape

Première Nord-Américaine

The scaffolding structure presents a kind of game, stairs go up and stairs go down, but they do not always connect to each other. Port-holes allow views to hidden places and listening pipes allow access to snippets of sound.

The sounds are all collected from the immediate location: historic moments recorded from the distant and not-so-distant past and field recordings from the present. Distributed through twenty pipes, the public can listen to each sound separately, listed and categorized into groups, as they move through the installation.

Like the impossible staircase of Escher’s drawings, the SOUNDIG must be explored to be understood. The public simultaneously become spectator and participant as they simultaneously look out and look in.


The gigantic pipe at the centre of the structure is the imaginative starting point for the installation. Recently re-discovered and excavated from beneath the ground, pseudo-archaeologists have examined the pipe using experimental techniques that extract aural residue from the layers of sediment inside.

Archaeaucoustics is a field of study that focuses on sounds from the past and is informed by a various fields of scientific and pseudo-scientific practices.

Historical Archives

The sounds played in SOUNDIG are all legitimate field recordings collected from the past and present, categorized into types and listed throughout the structure.
The SOUNDIG installation team work with historians, sound recordists, archivists, online contributors to collect the material and build up a snapshot of the specific site. The result is a democratic sound-map of the area that seeks to create a collective memory and to encourage imaginative readings of the past.
Rediscovery of the past

Like a hall of mirrors or a ghost-train ride at the fair ground, SOUNDIG creates a fun environment where the public are invited to play, to listen, to contemplate, to investigate and to question.

Our interest in history is seduced by our unique vantage point in the present. We create history by looking at the past in new ways, drawing on science, culture and our imagination to understand those who came before us. SOUNDIG is a history machine that encourages us to listen and look again.

‘ The great city is a record, a document, a memorial. Not the spirits of nature, but the ghosts of civilization inhabit the city ground. It is constructed of deeds that arise in private minds, often in the quiet desperation required by the Muses who are the true ghosts of civilization’

James Hillman, City and Soul, ed. Robert J. Leaver 2006

Conception and realisation : Stephen Bain et Jeff Henderson

Commande : The EDGE, Aotea Centre, Auckland

Production : Winning Productions

The presentation of Soundig in Montréal receives the support of the Art Council of  New Zealand.

  • Ils ont accueilli Soundig :

–          Perth, WA, Oct 2012 (Nouvelle-Zélande)


  • Where and When ? 

Escales de Jour

Du mardi 3 au samedi 7 septembre sur les Quais du Vieux Port. Face à l’écluse de 12h à 19h

Le dimanche 8 septembre sur les Quais du Vieux Port. Face à l’écluse de 12h à 17h30