Steam (Amsterdam)

SHORES SPACE St. Annenstraat 28 hs Amsterdam OPENING: FRIDAY 22 NOVEMBER 8-10pm
open Friday & Saturday 2 - 6 pm
November 22 - December 22, 2002 / tel. 06-44568605

Hills Snyderís Steam draws upon a visit to Amsterdam in June of 2001, 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 sampling 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.

Admittedly, 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 donít choose
to 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.

This work utilizes replicated versions of 35 pieces selected from the dozens of bicycle parts collected.
Each will be represented in profile by wood templates mounted with photographs of sampled sky
laminated to Plexiglas. These components will populate or punctuate the rooms of Shores in a
way that celebrates the eccentricities of that space, enlivening our experience of common interior features
such as doors, ledges, corners, etc.

A sound montage created by layering and looping gathered audio material accompanies the visual
installation, connecting both in a new context of experience, which retrieves lost sound just as
it salvages pieces of particular human past. The sounds, formerly experienced once and than left
behind, form a topography which can be revisited like a familiar landscape, while the blue-gray
bits of atmosphere, captured by the camera and viewed through a lens of human refuse, point to
a kind of Chicken-Little-in-reverse scenario in which the singular piece of junk is recast as individual
perception falling up, under the dome of sky.

Steam, and all the walking the artist did to gather it, is a tribute to Amsterdamís commitment to the
bicycle, a technology still ahead of itsí time.

Hills Snyder lives in the woods outside San Antonio, Texas. This project has received support from ArtPace,
a foundation for contemporary art, San Antonio and The Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Alberta.
 



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