Audio collage made from field recordings taken during CACOPHONY canoe trips on the Bronx River and Jamaica Bay, 2011.
CACOPHONY: A Series of Listening trips
In the summer of 2011, I led a series of early morning expeditions by boat, in the Bronx River and the Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge, as a part of the "Sea Worthy" festival, sponsored by Flux Factory in New York City. Participants joined me for a silent canoe trip at sunrise, and we experienced and recorded the surprising and sometimes disconcerting mixture of sounds on these waterways - birds, trains, cars, radios, airplanes, waterfalls. There was only room in the canoe for one participant at a time, and we were immersed together in the early morning magic of the quietly humming city.
These excursions became an active meditation on the entanglement of nature and the built environment, as we contemplated rich wildlife habitats, roaring trains, bustling highways, trash and recycling transfer stations, a multitude of graffitied bridges and overpasses, commercial warehouses, years of neglected trash, and ecological restoration projects. Intended to explore and contemplate a queer, non-binary understanding of nature in contemporary times, in its wildly alive, hybridized, impure, urbanized, human-influenced, crisis-weary, post-industrial complexities.
Image: Somewhere south of 219th Street, near the beginning of the journey. photo credit: Anna Reynolds
All images and text copyright 2006-2022 Gina Siepel. All rights reserved.