Hills Snyder’s Steam draws upon a visit to Amsterdam, when he spent three weeks walking the streets within the semi-circular area defined by the Singelgracht, picking up discarded bicycle parts while simultaneously recording ambient sound.
By linking these dual activities, the case is made for the notion that we habitually discard our opportunities to be present; that we float in a sea of association, drifting from one thought to the next; that the moment can be taken for granted in the same way that sensory awareness can be assumed. The objects in our view, in this case, broken bits of bicycles, are overlooked, just as the rich audio swirl within which we move is often filtered out by internal noise. In the scheme of things, most of us have no need to notice rubbish in the streets or the random cacophony of the city, but the metaphorical effect is indicative of a choice we don’t really make. The bicycle parts and gathered sounds serve as examples of the experiential field, surrogates for any number of other overlooked or forgotten aspects of experience. Steam utilizes replicated versions of 35 pieces selected from the dozens of bicycle parts collected. Each is represented in profile by wood templates mounted with Durst prints of random sky. The precise format of the installed blue-gray bits of atmosphere, captured by the camera and viewed through a lens of human refuse, will not be known until a short time before opening night. These components will occupy the Project Space of Gallery Diet along with a sound montage created by layering and looping gathered audio material.
The sounds, formerly experienced once and then left behind, will form a topography which can be revisited like a familiar landscape. This project has received exhibition support from The Fountainhead Residency, Miami, research and travel support from Artpace, San Antonio and sound mixing support from The Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Alberta.