Author(s)Hamilton, Kevin J. (Kevin James), 1973-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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I constructed the Metronomad instrument to facilitate my ongoing exploration of the footstep as a basic epistemological unit. This portable percussive instrument assigns prerecorded or sampled sounds from the environment to each foot; each step triggers a sound, amplified through speakers that are worn as a backpack. My first performance in the development of this instrument took place at the crosswalk of 77 Massachusetts Avenue, where I performed for several hours during a busy time of day. For the duration of the performance the crosswalk's audible pedestrian signal sounded only when I walked. Each note of the "cuckoo" tone was assigned to one of my feet. In this way I provided the tone pedestrians rely on for safe passage, altered only in tempo. As I walked I attempted to match my steps to the pace of another person, thus modulating the tempo of the crosswalk tone by the pace of that person. Throughout modernity artists have treated the urban walk as an ideal site for exploration of new social, political and aesthetic roles. At this seminal site I propose through my project: a new mimetic epistemology rooted in sound and the body, rather than sight and the eye; a new spatial interpretation of the modern autonomous individual; and a confrontation with the politics of the panoptic gaze.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2000.Includes bibliographical references (p. 57-58).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology