FNB Joburg Artfair 2016 (Sept. 9, 2016)
Songsmith (Cradle of Humankind). nicknamed ‘the singing rocks’ by the Winter Sculpture fair audience, repairs ancient, fractured rocks following a method based on the Japanese art and philosophy of Kintsukuroi. By combining this golden rock repair with technology and sound, a songsmith will resonate when touched. This allows each rock to sing of the land wherein it has existed for millennia. The Songsmith (Cradle of Humankind) collection consists of 10 rocks found and collected during a ‘expedition’ like residency with Nirox Foundation which sits within the Cradle of Humankind.
Each songsmith’s melody is generated from the raw electro-magnetic readings captured from beneath the rock’s unique and original resting place in the Cradle of Humankind. Their songs were created through the use of site-specific Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) data captured with geophysicists. Humans can’t actually hear the electro-magnetism because it sits in an inaudible frequency range and needs to be interpreted. With sound engineering the unedited GPR frequency pattern was brought into an audible pitch based on the weight of each rock. Pitch is used intuitively. For example: a large, heavy rock will sing in a lower tone, whereas a smaller, light rock will sing in a higher tone. What results is a haunting ‘whale song’ that becomes the unique voice of each songsmith.