Kunst- og designhøgskolen i Bergen (KHiB)
Pulse Sequence is a performance with sculpture and sound work that explores ‘making’ as an act of recording presence. In haptic techniques, such as woodcarving, individual points of impact remain visible; the process can be ‘read’, as it documents the presence of the body and the passage of time. The sound work created in Pulse Sequence provides a means for these individual points of impact to remain audible as well as visible. The point of departure in Pulse Sequence is a large log that has been split down the middle and is presented in the exhibition space as two benches. During the performance the surfaces of the benches are carved with a chisel and mallet. The resulting woodchips are then swept into the middle of the space. Before each layer is carved the benches are painted with a light wash of colour so that the various layers of carving are evident in the pile of woodchips. Contact microphones attached to the benches record each iteration of the carving process. The recordings are then overlaid in a loop and played back through headphones, creating a palimpsest soundscape. As the layers of sound build up, so does the complexity of the cross-rhythms – the registered hammering sounds create a rhythmic interference that is impossible to either ignore or follow. At times it sounds something like horses galloping, falling into synchronisation and then diverging again. The process of carving is presented as a live performance but Pulse Sequence also serves as an installation; outside of the performance visitors are encouraged to lounge on the benches and listen through headphones to the soundscape. In doing so the visitor is positioned as the subject, their body at the centre of the potential held inside the material as the internal space of the wood is progressively carved away and they listen to the process of ‘becoming’.