Shifting Ground


Shifting Ground is an intimate installation and performance created by media artist and performer Zoe Scoglio and collaborators. Physicalised sound, voice, gestural choreography and interactive projection mapping, take the audience on a journey linking the human and geological worlds, from the cosmic to the concrete.

In this ceremonial work, remnants of a living room, a construction site and demolition site converge, existing in a state of transformation between the natural and humanmade environment. This archipelago of deconstructed geological and domestic materials orbit a central coffee table and include a semi-circle of seating for the small audience. Traversing between scales and timeframes, Shifting Ground seeks to remind us of the impermanent and fleeting nature of our time on this earth and the symbiotic relationship we have with the geological elements that form it.

The relationship between sound and image is integral to Shifting Ground. This dynamic and truly live interaction is made possible through the contribution of sound designer Nigel Brown and the resulting live processing and sonic interplay between Nigel and performer Zoe Scoglio. An environment is created where all objects encountered can be activated either through their ability to create sound, emit sound, or be mobilised by subsonic vibrations. The centrepiece of the work, a custom built circular coffee table, becomes both clock face and altar. This occurs both visually and sonically. Transducers and contact microphones, concealed beneath the table’s false surface, allow for the live processing, amplification and sonic transformation of the sound made as the rocks are moved on the table’s surface. Later, tonal compositions and live improvised vocalisation, fed through the table by the attached transducers, physically move the salt upon the table’s surface creating crystalline patterns through the cymatic effect of vibration.

In collaboration with interaction designer, Chris Heywood, methods of wirelessly controlling and sequencing sounds and LEDs within portable sculptural polystyrene speaker-rocks has been achieved. Chris has also developed a complex system to enable automated sequencing of sound, light, image and mechanics. The use of 3D RGBD video camera technology to map video projection onto tracked objects and the human form in real time, creates an intimate environment within the installation without the interference of an often intrusive video/lighting operation.

36 min