Wood, plastic tubing, rubber tubing, metal wire, steel rods, 3D printed parts, audio interface, amplifier, cables, loud speakers, condenser microphones, LED strips, Arduino, Max/MSP, REAPER, Ableton, RTcmix, Unity, Blender, Parsec
Sound descriptions by Cheryl Green
Technical and manufacturing support by Vincent Cusson
Meesh Fradkin's voice-activated sculpture listens to the formation of speech and explores the loss of meaning in buzzwords. Powered by a sonified dictionary composed of jargon, babbel questions positionality in the arts by bringing attention to who is participating in real time.
Suspended from the ceiling as multi-tiered wooden chandeliers with steel rods and plastic tubing, this installation lights up and emits sounds in response to words overheard in the gallery space. Fradkin’s installation invites visitors to consider how words are hollowed out by use, overuse, or misuse.
Please note that some sounds may be loud and dissonant.
Meesh Fradkin’s babbel is composed of five multi-tiered sculptures that sprawl over the entrance of the gallery, spilling into the main exhibition space. Suspended from the gallery’s pipe grid with thin metal wires, an outer ring is formed by four of the low-hanging chandeliers around the centerpiece. As the sculptures float four to seven feet off the ground, tactile floor bumpers and arranged seating mark off these areas.
The largest chandelier is voice-activated, emitting different sounds in response to words spoken in the gallery. Four small speakers and two microphones are integrated into the sculpture and three larger speakers are in the pipe grid.
Behind the chandeliers are three large screens mounted in a horizontal line on the wall about four feet off the ground. The monitors reveal “You are a very good person” in red text, alternating between a black and white background.
There are two small-scale 3-D printed models of the sculptures anchored to the pedestal against the alcove wall. These are tactile sculptures that want to be touched and explored—it’s ok if you break it.