SQUEEEEQUE – THE IMPROBABLE IGLOO (2009-2011)

An immersive environment, cosy as a children’s fort, built from items discarded by society. A sonic cocoon woven from the mutations of your own voice, reverberating across walls and ceiling. An audio sculpture that evokes favelas and one of the most ancient incarnations of the human habitat. A speakerbox igloo.

Squeeeeque, by Alexis O’Hara

“It’s an igloo, made of speakerboxes,” says musician and visual artist Alexis O’Hara, of her recent sound-installation-cum-sculpture, Squeeeeque. The piece was exhibited to excited crowds ranging from energetic toddlers to demure 20-something hipsters to astounded seniors alike at Skol gallery in April 2008.

In plain terms, Alexis’ description holds, but there’s more to it. Upon entry, gallery visitor is greeted by her weird dome, built out of a hodgepodge of different speakers, resembling something like a patchwork quilt of discarded audiophile detritus. The visitor is invited to enter, and speak, whisper sing or scream into one of the dangling microphones which are fed back into the speakers. The result is a natural resonance chamber, not entirely dissimilar from The User’s famed Silophone project, save that it’s presented on a more human (and ultimately social) scale.

Indeed, when one crouches in the pulsating dome with other gallery visitors, each interacting with the piece with varying degrees of inhibition or lackthereof, one feels as though they’ve entered a private, comfortable, womb-like space, where one’s own voice can be amplified or one can allow others’ voices to wash over them, aural ablution.

Ultimately, as people become more comfortable with the piece, voices get louder and musical forms inevitably emerge, sometimes evoking the howling wind of the shape’s place-of-origin, the arctic. Other times the sounds emanating suggest a new kind of electric campfire folk; the piece becomes sculpture, installation, womb and musical instrument.

But really, it’s just an igloo made of speakerboxes.

– Ali Rahman. Arts Writer, The Hour.

SKOL / ELEKTRA FESTIVAL – Montreal, Quebec, May 2009

OSHEAGA FESTIVAL – Montreal, Quebec, August 2009

CLUB TRANSMEDIALE – Berlin, Germany, February 2010

FESTIVAL VIA – Maubeuge, France, March 2010

FESTIVAL EXIT – Creteil, France, March 2010

GARE SAINT-SAUVEUR / LILLE 3000 – Lille, France, May 2010

EMMEDIA/CALGARY FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL – Calgary, Alberta, July 2010

TODAYSART – The Hague, Holland, September, 2010

SHIFT FESTIVAL – Basel, Switzerland, October 2011

Solo exhibit – BHV/Délégation du Québec à Paris, November, 2011

MONACO DANCE FORUM – Monaco, December, 2011

VIDEO SLIDESHOW COMPILATION

VIDEO OF ORIGINAL VERSION – SKOL GALLERY, MONTREAL, MAY 2009

VIDEO OF OSHEAGA VERSION – AUGUST 2009

VIDEO OF BERLIN VERSION – FEBRUARY 2010

MORE PHOTOS

LoadingUpdating...