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Concept Development, Activation Design and Production, Electronics Design, Installation
Marta Ferracin

Echosonar was produced by Marta Ferracin for initial exhibition during the 2019 North Sydney Art Prize at the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability, Waverton, at which it won the ‘Site Specific’ award. The piece is in an immersive spatial and auditory experience inspired by the echolocating ability of bats, specifically the Eastern Bent-wing bats living within the cavernous tunnels of the former coal loading station. A narrow winding walkway is bound by collections of floor-mounted looped Slinkys, and an array of Slinkys suspended from a false ceiling. These hanging Slinkys were agitated synchronously with an ambient soundscape (produced by Trevor Brown) played on array of 21 traditional speakers and 3 “sound lasers” to create a truly hypernatural experience.

My role on this project centred on designing and producing a system for activation of the suspended Slinkys such that they produced a particular percussive/harmonic response (akin to a small SciFi laser gun) when agitated. The solution I arrived at to achieve this was a novel method of stitching the Slinkys to the cones of the conventional speakers and mounting them through ceiling cut-outs. This solution allowed the speakers to act as hybrid kinetic/acoustic actuators, and gave Trevor the platform to precisely and seamlessly integrate the Slinkys into the soundscape.