Smoke is an experimental documentary come audio-visual poem made from original photographic documentation of mid 20th-century air pollution in the cities of Pittsburgh and St Louis (Smoke Control Lantern Slide Collection, University of Pittsburgh). The soundtrack presents a digitally transmuted vocal response to these images, referencing the equally smokey jazz clubs of the time by fragmenting a popular jazz standard of the period.
As a poetical documentary, Smoke hovers on the cusp between past and present, setting up a conversation between different technologies, between virtual experience and the imagination of another time and place that yet has a marked relevance to increasing, if now less visible urban air pollution.
Smoke is part of a JISC-funded (Research Data Spring) CREAM project to explore the use of active metadata, or actively used metadata in research and creative processes.This project is part of Jisc’sResearch Data Spring activity.
The project is accompanied by a data collection of notes on Annalist, which will form the basis of a semi-structured data model expanding on my Model of Procedural Blending which “aims to expand sound art discourse by considering process in sound art practice through an exploration of artists’ experiences”. Procedural Blending model has some marked similarities with work on provenance to describe processes in scientific research, but also some marked differences.
I am hoping to be able to create a companion piece later on, based on the Great London Fog in 1952.