FIELD (2010)


“Sound is intrinsically and unignorably relational: it emanates, propagates, communicates, vibrates, and agitates; it leaves a body and enters others; it binds and unhinges, harmonizes and traumatizes; it sends the body moving, the mind dreaming, the air oscillating.” Brandon LaBelle. Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group Inc, 2006, ix.

A pure white field of porcelain wares and a clean surface. A cinematic familiarity of a low rumble and clattering plates. Activated by bass shakers and a cd player, the ignorable frequency of domestic noise is captured in Jamie Drouin’s FIELD. Working within a recurring theme of environmental and domestic noise, Drouin compels us to reconsider the ways in which potentially destructive sound is left unchecked, even unnoticed. FIELD examines how noise pollution activates the domestic interior, wherein the presumably undetectable frequencies that emanate from our refrigerators, speakers, electrical boxes, computers, and other technological symbols of progress, have become an irresponsible layering contributing to an inability to function properly within our domestic space.

In contrast to Drouin’s site-specific works limited to the appearance of speakers, FIELD renders the physicality of sound in the materiality of the white porcelain dishes. As one of his most sculptural pieces to date, the visual component functions as the mechanics of the work. By exposing the mechanics – the cables, the wires and the bass shakers – the reality of the construction is presented in parallel to the possible illusion created by sound. There is no disguise.

-Toby Lawrence, curator