Echo Systems

Echoed Industry

Destin Nordyke
Sound installation with digital prints

Of the five senses, sound is one that can be dissected to a hair, or phased out and ignored entirely by the mind. Especially in a bustling city, specific noises can wake up a sleeping family, while sounds of similar intensity are simultaneously drowned out and beyond recall. The audio in Echoed Industry utilizes field recordings from around the west side of Grand Rapids, particularly from the South West Area Neighborhood (SWAN), to create an experience that encompasses all aspects of the city’s sonic profile.

One of the most frequent contributors to this echo-system of noise is the automobile. Cars and trucks creep through the city, followed by the sound waves they produce. Frequently, they made their way into the background of these field recordings. This vehicular omnipresence has lurked its way not only into our ears, but into the core of American infrastructure. Car-centric urban design has left its mark on every American city, including Grand Rapids. Left behind are the echoes of people, churches, theaters, and other public buildings that once lay on these grounds—forcibly removed to make way for highways built in the 1960s. Places once filled with countless memories, and cherished by the communities that called them their home. All destroyed by this “industry of the future,” the same one that now brings tens of thousands of people into Grand Rapids each and every day.

Other projects from Civic at Straight and Wealthy

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