EH Out Loud

The podcast where we investigate how technology mediates what it means to be human.



Season 2, Episode 3 : Interior Space




Voice: Experimental Humanities


Julianne Swartz: Welcome to Experimental Humanities Out Loud, the podcast where we investigate how technology mediates what it means to be human. My name is Julianne Swartz. I teach sculpture and participate in the sound cluster at Bard College. Today is April 30th, 2020. The sound pieces you are about to hear speak and to and from isolation. Literally, the students were in quarantine when they made these. Some students were living with friends or family, some were living alone, but all were abruptly displaced from their routines and expectations of daily life. The works explore solitude through a focus on interior space. The silence of a room, the clamor of the psyche, or both simultaneously. Memories, dreams, and the subconscious are mined for content. Distance and proximity can be heard in the recordings. In the context of isolation, familiar references, a children’s story, or sounds from an airport emerge as disconcerting haunts. These pieces acknowledge and explore loss, anxiety, and uncertainty, touching upon emotions that many of us were feeling as the Covid crisis unfolded.


Josie Cotton: My name is Josie Cotton, and I’m a studio art major. I made this sound piece right after quarantine started. You will hear two consecutive entries I wrote down in a journal in the days following isolation. I’ve had a lot of time to write.


[Josie Cotton’s piece, Monday, plays; Josie’s piece consists of her voice reading out two entries from her journal, one layered over the other]


Maeve Schallert: My name’s Maeve Schallert, I am a music and philosophy double major, and this piece uses field recordings from walks I’ve been on during quarantine, and the drone is from—is a recording from the last rehearsal I was part of before Bard closed.


[Maeve Schallert’s piece, Immediacy, plays; Maeve’s piece includes sounds of walking, a pure-tone drone, sounds of wind, rhythmic elements, water burbling, and human speech]


Siena Sherer: My name is Siena Sherer. My piece, Commencement, is about catharsis and fearless self-celebration even in a time when we are not sure what that means.


[Siena Sherer’s piece, Commencement, plays; Siena’s piece includes sounds of howling wind and an oscillating resonance, thunderstorms, and birds]


Voice: and now, for the class of two-thousand-twenty (repeats)


Madeleine Buzbee: My name is Madeleine Buzbee and this project, titled Homesound, is an amalgamation of sounds that I found on the internet from airports, and sounds from the environment of the home I’m staying in in Red Hook. I was thinking a lot about homesickness, distance, and the rhythm that it would take to get home.


[Madeleine Buzbee’s piece, Homesound, plays; Madeleine’s piece includes sounds of raindrops, sheets of rain, car tires, clattering, echoing voices, and a rhythmic drumming sound]


Will Hunt: My name is Will Hunt, and I’m a senior photo major. My piece is a composition of many samples, but as a whole I would best describe it as a socially cubist cartoon drama, in which pain becomes the single theatre of itself. Thanks for listening!


[Will Hunt’s piece, Untitled, plays]