At the Far and Farthest Point 2004
Thirteen channel immersive sound environment
Duration sequence: 2”
Consisting of an architecturally configured exhibition interior
14 track digital hard drive
13 speakers and amplifiers
3 strobe lights & digital timer
Commissioned by and exhibited at Edith Russ Site for Media Art, Oldenburg, Germany.
At the Far and Farthest Point is a sound environment that Monika Oechsler has designed for the upper gallery of the Edith Ruß Site for Media Art, which breaks through its clearly defined architecture. Yet this work also seeks to break through our structures of perception and thus simulate a kind of psychotic shift. At the same time, the installation itself is highly architectonic, although the main elements consist of sound, colour and light.
(Excerpt from “Please don’t misunderstand me” by Christian Katti, printed in the artists catalogue Parallel Worlds, published by Site Gallery and Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, 2005).
Today’s media world aims at getting under your skin and into your private, mental space. Film and television go right for the psyche and their special reality aims to mix in with our own thoughts. Everywhere you turn, voices – and ‘voice’ has come to be almost synonymous with ‘identity’ – are competing for the attention of your psyche, trying to provoke a stimulus – be it to hold you during a commercial break or motivate you to over-achieve at the task at hand.
Upon entering At the Far and Farthest Point you are submerged in a voice installation that reflects a situation or state of being rather than a story. A room of colours and angles with a slightly graded floor blocks the white cube that the …(gallery). Actually Oechsler designed two spaces for the viewer. The first is the tactile space of coloured walls that can be entered through a door. This is echoed in a second space, which Oechsler designs as equally distorted: mental space. Within the real, tangible space of the physical installation Monika Oechsler opens the gate to the abstract space of where thoughts are shaped. Voices can be heard as you pick up bits of dialogue or short monologues. As you become acclimated to the environment the voices become more distinguishable – similar to entering a cinema where the eyes have to adjust to the light, the ears go through the same experience here. Yet Oechsler never allows you any real focus. Voices may fall into the background but they are always present, biding for one’s attention. In addition, every once in a while a flash of white light disrupts your concentration.
(Excerpt from the introduction by Rosanne Altstatt printed in Monika Oechsler At the Far and Farthest Point, published by the Edith Ruß Site for Media Art, 2004)