8 Jul

Soundbury
Thierry Bissonnette

Français
Daniel Dugas et Valérie LeBlanc se sont faits chasseurs ­cueilleurs sonores lors de la foire d’art sudburoise. Ces artistes de Moncton ont déambulé parmi les activités de la FAAS 2010 afin de prélever des séquences qui formeraient Soundbury, une collection en ligne de moments audio qui livre leur vision singulière d’une période effervescente sous la forme d’une «cartographie sonore de Sudbury».

Durant douze heures, Dugas et LeBlanc ont promené leurs micros pour capter des moments témoins de leur dialogue silencieux avec une ville et des artistes qui l’animaient. Ces moments sont fortuits, discrets, hétéroclites : un ruban adhésif qui flotte au vent, un tenancier qui réfléchit sur le retour tardif de la neige, un commentaire sur des bonhommes de neige intempestifs, un homme qui fait rouler son chariot sur le pavé de la rue Elgin, un poème énoncé dans une chambre d’hôtel, l’attente près des portes de la galerie d’art, l’essai de guitares dans une boutique… Affichées progressivement sur le site Web et représentées par une photo et une rubrique, ces séquences sonores naviguent entre l’art et le non-art apparents.

L’imaginaire de l’objet, du sujet et du récepteur sont inhérents à ces fragments sonores. Car si Soundbury a fouillé la ville pour y trouver des bouts d’âme, sa structure n’est complétée que par l’auditeur qui s’engage à composer un parcours. Ce faisant, on crée et on explore une ville miniature qui n’existe que dans l’ouïe, le temps d’une visite en diagonale.

English
Arriving from Moncton, Daniel Dugas and Valerie LeBlanc became hunter-gatherers of sounds during Sudbury’s alternative arts festival. Drawing from their rich background in online projects and exhibitions – he is a poet, she is a professor, and both are videographers – they meandered through the activities of the FAAS 2010 to capture audio clips that would eventually provide raw material for Soundbury, a collection of moments in sound expressing their particular vision of an effervescent time.

Soundbury can now be heard in its entirety on the site http://soundbury.wordpress.com. Its creators describe it as “a sonic cartography project, an audible image of the city of Sudbury” Over a twelve hour period, Dugas and Leblanc pointed their microphones at key moments that witnessed their silent dialogue with a city that was teeming with artists and writers, but also with the city’s more discrete aspects. This affinity for dialogue is also evident in the title of Daniel Dugas’ book of poetry, Hé!, which had recently been published by Prise de parole. Chance encounters often produce this familiar and fabulous exclamation.

As they brought back a number of short-lived moments, the two artists constructed a mish-mashed intersection that nonetheless bears their signature at its vanishing point. Thirty rubrics, each one introducing one or two sequences, were gradually uploaded onto the site. Today, they can be heard in the reverse order or in a non-numerical order. A visiting ear can wander as it pleases, starting with the final clip where trains pass by in the night, moving on to a moment captured at Peddler’s Pub on Cedar Street, or pausing by a ventilation outlet behind Durham Street, before opening a small window on the performances of Tania Lukin or Thierry Marceau. A strip of adhesive tape flutters in the wind; a tenant reflects on the unseasonal snowfall; someone comments on untimely snowmen; a man pushes a buggy over pavement on Elgin Street; a poem is read in a hotel room; patrons wait outside the art gallery; guitars are strummed in a music store… all these clips, each one represented by a still photo, plot a course between art and apparent non-art. Should a listener be so inclined, more than one clip can be heard simultaneously.

As we sift through this collection, we realize ever more clearly how these brief fragments combine the imagery of their objects, subjects and receivers. Soundbury tunneled into a city to find flecks of its soul, but its structure is not complete until the listener has recomposed its trajectory and created a miniature city that exists only in the vibrations of eardrums and in the moments of a visit in passing.

For a general overview of the experience, visit http:// soundbury.wordpress.com/google-map/, where a map indicates all the places where audio samples were obtained. A click on a mark displays the corresponding title and still image, and the audio sequence can be played. The result is an unusual map that can be used to discover downtown Sudbury, thanks to two generous artists from New Brunswick.

Hors Lieux
Une Rétrospective de la foire d’art alternatif de Sudbury 2010
Français : p 23
English: p 61-62
La Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario

ISBN 978-2-923024-51-6

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About Valerie LeBlanc

Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, pluri-­disciplinary artist and writer Valerie LeBlanc has worked in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia. Her creations travel between poetry, performance, visual and written theory. Valerie LeBlanc has been creating video poetry since the mid 1980’s, and is the creator of the MediaPackBoard (MPB), portable screening / performance device. In the fall of 2012, she published her play The Raft, through Basic Bruegel Editions.

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