The theory and thinking behind it:
Doorhandles are objects that provide real life Semiotics. The symbolise a door even when mounted on the wall or laid on a table. They indicate that a action needs to take place and with that action they are an extension of the body. For my piece I took time marking out the panels on a wall making sure that you needed to stretch for the top one and bend down for the bottom making the whole body animated during interaction.
Doors are interesting objects: Peoples lives are filled with doors; Real doors like front door, leaving home, or coming home – potentially anxiety provoking. Metaphorical doors like job interview, buying a house etc. Doors in movies, or in book, creating tension and suspense. Doors even open in our dreams and nightmares. Doors are physical and metaphorical. Always opening for ourselves and others. Some predictable some not. Some positive some negative. Some evoke memories. Something’s we will doubt, some will surprise. Fun, reflective, serious, shocking, unexpected.
This piece is designed to be set up like a showroom sales exhibit which viewers should be familiar with, thus encouraging interaction, unlike a random display that might be more difficult to approach. The installation is to mimic the process of ‘opening doors’. By turning the handle something will happen. Always an outcome, never passive. Often it can be highly emotional.
All senses used, but the focus here is on auditory, to highlight the excessive amount of noise that reaches our ears each day from the time we open the doors of our senses. Influence by Bruce Nauman’s ‘Get Out of my mind, get out of this room’ – his work is not about enjoyment or appreciation. in fact it has little to do with perception. His bold yet straight forward approach effectively is what it is. He deals in irritations and inconveniences things so small they get under your skin. His Sound work relates to the overwhelming feeling of anxiety, a condition that would only be amplified by Nauman’s work and the constant onslaught to the senses. Allowing no time to think. Requiring you to either except the barrage of sound or examine one sound at a time if you are able.
Tim Lewis and Carsten Holler’s interactive work inspired me to make this piece interactive and non static. The Audience is the performer. Whilst experiencing the work the viewer is simultaneously the viewer and the viewed. You experience others reaction on top of your own, the experience is individual dependent on who you are with. Different, ages, gender, single or alone will react differently.
Some false truth is interspersed within real. Reflect on how we filter and check, or accept.
More than one handle at a time can cause overlapping and sometimes unintelligible white noise. Other people pulling handles will bleed into our reality and may annoy, please or distract. Definitely need the potential chaos of multiple people. Creating conflicting views. Testing people’s curiosity, and or how they regard art installations. Some of the noises will be external like street noises because some doors open outside our internal world. Some will be false, like foley art.
The purpose is to get the viewer to question how they view doors in their own life, using a simple domestic object that they are familiar with. In a non threatening way. Some of the handles are duds, which becomes frustrating if you get a number in a row. The sounds play over each other drowning each other out causing frustration again between participants. Some of the sounds have up to a half second delay on them, purposefully again like the duds to cause misdirection.
There is a sound bank of over 300 sounds that is randomly generated when a handle is pulled which means the experience will never be the same, keeping the viewer on their toes, so even after the initial surprise of the handle creating the noise, it continues to surprise drawing on a bank of sounds that range from door related sounds like bells to ringtones and sentences still linking to the door but a little more disconcerting especially the ringtones as I purposely chose the default tones from the top three brands of phone, which as people generally cant be bothered to change.
An additional layer to the piece is that intentionally all the handles are ex demo and discontinued so they have been interacted with by people before and it makes this fake showroom pointless as non of the handles you could actually buy now.
Behind the scenes:
This is what the inside looks like, each handle on the front has a opposite handle on the back, and a bracket with a button inside it place so that when the handle is pulled it hits the button making the noise.