Sight, Sound, Suburbia
Carrie Ida Edinger
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Sight, Sound Suburbia (2017)
Digital sound installation with digital images and digital scans of field drawings, accompanied by an alternate digital video presentation.
"The suburban neighborhood that is presented in my Sight, Sound, Suburbia was built in the late 1950’s and has several abandoned spaces throughout the approximate four square mile neighborhood. My childhood home is within this neighborhood and I have resided there the majority of my adult life. In 2017, I began to observe and document my neighborhood in the US State of Delaware that has not rebounded from the 2008 American housing crisis and recession.
Transitions have been a component in the production of my art and anthropology based projects. The continual cycle of how the houses in the neighborhood have changed from real estate sales to foreclosures or even abandonment is why I began to document the current state of this suburban environment. My fieldwork and related observations do not depict the perfect stereotypical sights associated with the American suburbs. The neighborhood has been impacted by the broader and local transitions of the national economy and a change in the local labor culture.
Carrie Ida Edinger
Edinger is an independent artist whose interest in interdisciplinary practice investigates cross-discipline approaches to art and new media. She has published and given research-related presentations with professional art and anthropological organizations. She was a 2015 opinion columnist for Anthropology News with her column entitled Crossing Disciplines: Art and Anthropology. In December 2018, she published her monograph, An Artist Crossing Disciplines, to contribute to the artist’s role with the production of knowledge beyond a standard visual means to interdisciplinary practice. Her projects have been included in national and international programming and exhibitions.
Mobility within my suburban environment has been key to capturing the present moment of these transitions. Audio recordings of my observations from walking through the neighborhood are a personal and creative narrative that distinctively documents the human senses from my experiences in the suburban environment. What is verbally recorded are the significant daily environmental details that indicate the cues to various transitional activities, such as the slow process of renovations to abandoned properties.
During the audio mixing of my collected everyday suburban sounds from the same neighborhood and my first-person narrative field notes, I would sketch and reflect on my travels in this familiar suburban environment. This perspective is beneficial to expose the multi-layered narrative of the suburban environment, while integrating digital media to engage with the human senses by utilizing words and the vernacular sounds. Sight, Sound, Suburbia is derived from my suburban fieldwork that is comprised of audio recordings, a suburban sound collection, and digital imagery that will culminate in an upcoming film."