Introduced birdsong

A public intervention into the historic parking lots of Providence.

For a single working day, on Thursday 17th October 2013, and with the help of local residents, Mike Brookes and I highlighted thirty of central Providence’s surface level parking lots that – contrary to assumptions that they are sites of transition, neglect, or failed developments – have in fact been designated and in use as parking lots since city surveys of the 1950s.

The collective impact and physical presence of these sites within the city’s centre was revealed and reframed by introducing movement-sensitive audio devices containing the recorded song of a single Lincoln’s sparrow – a bird still present, but more common in the wetlands that were once part of the city – into all thirty of the lots simultaneously.

With this act, the work enabled direct and daily personal encounters, at a city scale, while allowing us to subtly shift the aural ambient of this city centre in actuality. And its realisation has – as we had also hoped – already provoked questions, conversations, encounters with bemused police officers, and amusement for some of the area’s parking lot attendants…

This work is part of  Casado and Brookes’ ongoing Just a little bit of history repeating project, further details of which are available in Mike Brookes’ blog and archives and somethingshappens.com


 

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Photos by David Higgins

 


Co-sponsored by Brown University’s Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies and Creative Arts Council, with the support of Wales Arts International and Salina Art Center.