In Brief

Dallas Museum of Art announces crowdsourced pandemic artwork with Yuri Suzuki

Dallas

23 April 2020

In late 2019, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) launched Speechless: Different by Design, an exhibition of multisensory forms of designed communication. While the show was forced to close early as a result of the pandemic, it will now live on through a digital, crowdsourced artwork being developed by the sound designer Yuri Suzuki.

Sound of the Earth: The Pandemic Chapter, will be a digital work that gathers sounds from around the world, recorded during the pandemic. The museum has put out an open call for people to submit audio or video files for inclusion in the project to https://virtual.dma.org/sound-of-the-earth/, with the work due to go live on 4 May at virtual.dma.org.

Sarah Schleuning, the DMA's interim chief curator, said: β€œIn this moment of tremendous change and uncertainty, we wanted to create an open platform for people to express themselves and to capture our shared experience of the fleeting moments around us during this period. Through our collective observations and the simple act of listening, we hope to provide participants with a moment of global shared empathy and a means of connection.”

The work builds upon a physical installation, Sound of the Earth: Chapter 2 that Suzuki had developed for Speechless: a spherical sculpture which visitors could place their ears against to hear a selection of globally crowdsourced sound. The project was itself an evolution of an earlier work, Sound of the Earth, in which a globe was engraved with field recordings of sound that Suzuki had sourced from around the world.

The DMA is calling for sounds of any type for The Pandemic Chapter – "from cooking dinner at home, to the ambulance siren passing by, to online connections with loved ones" – with submissions to be mapped onto a virtual rendering of the globe.

Suzuki's work with the Sound of the Earth series is not the only time he has incorporated crowdsourced content into his practice. The Welcome Chorus at the Turner Contemporary in Margate, for instance, fed crowdsourced lyrics into an AI programme to develop an evolving soundscape.