Drowning/Burning

Drowning/Burning was an interactive sound installation in which the spectator could generate sounds by moving around. You could step onto the platform, and your movements would be transformed into sound. Fire became water. Water became flames. The more you moved, the more sound was played. The more you resisted, the more you would be engulfed. The installation responded to movements from the spectators, whereupon they became performers.

The sounds had clear associations with water and fire. The physical aspect of the installation consisted of a small platform for spectators to stand on, individually or in small groups. There was nothing special to look at; instead, there was something to listen to – but only if the spectator participated. When the platform was empty, no sound played. But when one or more spectators moved on the platform, the silence was transformed into a soundscape.

Technically, video tracking enabled a computer to interpret live images from a video camera. A computer program developed by the work’s composer interpreted the visitors’ movements, and translated them directly into sound.

Drowning/Burning originated in a number of research projects in which Wayne Siegel worked with music that could be influenced by a dancer's movements. This installation was created specifically for Skive Art Museum by Wayne Siegel.