Residency Experiences

“I was trying to take my studio to the bath-house, but eventually I took the bath-house to my studio.” This is what I thought after all the experiences here. My initial idea was to transform the environmental sounds in one of the oldest bath-houses in Teheran (Navab Bath-House) based on the historic and mysterious background of the public bath-houses. In the midst of efforts through this approach to prepare a circle of feedback through a combination of environmental reverb and digital audio effects, I explored the monument’s particular way of sound editing caused by the unique architecture and its acoustics. Through this experience, the studio methods of designing and editing slowly turned to listening and playing carefully with the organic phenomena. The powerful atmosphere did not respond to the pre-prepared audio effects; it seemed that it had its own way of controlling and reshaping the waves. And the outcome for me was to become a part of the atmosphere by carrying a small microphone and a speaker in my pocket to send back the feedback and see how it is reshaped. I named this process garmābe synthesis (garmābe is an old Persian word for “bathroom”).

Through the idea of transforming the sounds, I transformed my method.

Navab Bath-House – Garmābe Synthesis

A cycle of feedback was created by carrying my smartphone and a small Bluetooth speaker in my pocket. The sensitive acoustics of the bath-house respond to any movement and sound. The reflection depends on the sound source’s place and position. The reflections were sent to the Bluetooth speaker via a microphone application in the smartphone while I was moving in the space. So each reflection was sent back to the space by the speaker with a short delay, and then the audience could hear the reflection of a reflection, and, as I carried the speaker, the feedback loop was completely dependent on my position, and the function of this cycle in each corridor and room was different. Also, I represented the bath-house prototype in the gallery space.

The prototype is the inner part of my car’s back-light, which I found and used as the monument.

short recording from the performance intervention