Interactive mobile audio installation
Part pet, part machine, ‘If you’d like to….’ is an audio hybrid whose strong adaptive potentials allow it to explore diverse habitats and locations. It guides companions on an imaginative tour of local homelands, challenging habitual, present-day perceptions of where we live, work and play.
Based on the familiar phone menu format, participants are invited to listen-in to site-specific options, press a key to register their choice and take an imaginative leap.
‘If you’d like to….’ is a site-specific, audio installation to be enjoyed by people of all ages. A participatory site-specific piece, it is intended to flex, stretch, and re-jig patterns of thought and culture into new and surprising constellations for the 21st Century.
The piece came to life in a 15th Century townhouse on the edge of Dartmoor England, while its clone was born in the contrasting location of a Northern New Mexico wooden toyshop. The twin hybrids live distinct existences on parallel continents, adventuring out from their home places to guide companions through urban and rural wildernesses, challenging habitual perceptions and enabling unique engagements with the places in which they live, work or play.
The “If you’d like to….Off-Grid” installation consists of a self-sufficient, mobile wooden listening station with headphones, powered by a small solar panel and battery-powered mp3 player. For each new location a context-specific spoken audio piece and accompanying, layered soundscape are created. With its wheeled platform, the perambulatory unit is designed to be taken on walks into interactive outings – ideal for gallery as well as event and festival settings.
Interacting with local residents, tourists, park rangers and construction workers in city plazas, National Parks, forest trails and galleries in England, Colorado and New Mexico, this perambulatory audio installation invites people to share, explore and imagine old, new and off-grid, human and non-human perspectives on the local homelands.
“If you’d like to….” Installation + Event history
If you’d like to….(Taos Off-Grid)
THE PASEO, Outdoor art festival, Taos New Mexico, September 26, 2014
If you’d like to….Albuquerque
516 Arts + ISEA2012 Block Party, Albuquerque, New Mexico, September 2012 – January 2013
If you’d like to….Great Sand Dunes
Visitors Center, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Mosca, Colorado, July – December, 2010
If you’d like to…. English Riviera Geopark
Installed at Cockington Court, Torquay, Devon England, May – July, 2008
If you’d like to….Dartmoor
Bellever Youth Hostel, Dartmoor National Park, Devon England, Sept. – Nov., 2008
If you’d like to…Bristol
Arnolfini Bookshop and the streets of Bristol, England, October 1 – 6, 2008
If you’d like to….Haldon Forest
Center for Contemporary Art in the Natural World, Haldon Forest, Devon, England, April 2008
“Claire Coté and Anna Keleher collaborated to create one of their “If
You’d Like to…” audio installations for Great Sand Dunes National Park in
2010. Thousands of visitors during the busy season listened quizically and
pushed pretend buttons as they heard elk bugling, Medano Creek flowing, and
other evocative sound bytes. This installation is a creative reminder of
how automated our culture has become, and how that spills over even into
our national parks. In our increasingly urbanized and consumer-driven
world, many of us have become used to pushing buttons to immediately get
what we want. Experiences of nature in the park become almost like items
in a vending machine, a satellite channel list, or in this case, options on
a prerecorded phone menu. Fortunately, these wooden buttons don’t really
take the visitor to the experience they want, leading to frustration… and
hopefully a new insight into the disconnect between the consumer’s automated world and the wild, unpredictable natural world.
-Patrick Myers , Park Ranger, Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, January, 2011