Thomas Jacobs: Acoustic Void - Making Ends Meet

Plasy Monastery 1993

"The installation was located in the Baroque granary, a site I chose because of the visual symmetry and natural light, found within this space. Twin plywood tubes, found on-site, were horizontally suspended from the ceiling to hang in a line approximately one meter above the floor. A gap of half a meter was left between them, creating a listening space just large enough for two people seated side-by-side. In effect, it is the listeners who complete this sound circuit. Ambient sound from the outdoors, from the immediate installation space, and the naturally-occuring vibratory sound created by the tube itself was heard by the seated listeners. A monofilament line was stretched from floor to ceiling and pulled into an arch across the end of each tube, thereby transmitting - although in a dostorted form - all the vibrations from within the room to the listening space. A mysterious and countinuous low-pitched hum emanated from the tube. I later learned that this is a phenomenon found occuring in the tube form. The sculptural installation combined the street sounds of the moment with changing daylight in a architecturally historical location in a way that provides opportunities to, at least momentarrily, change ordinary perception. More simply stated, all I wanted to do was make something beautiful that would allow me to hear what was already there."

Thomas Jacobs,  1993, Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA

Thomas Jacobs is an American artist who constructed at Plasy from found material and held a sound installation in the convent's granary. He suspended a hollow tube towards the end of one floor and created a hearing system. If standing near the end of the tube, one could hear the ambient sounds of the environment, amplified by the apparatus.

We are not able today to find any trace of Thomas. He arrived to Plasy from Prague by accident, saw the symposium and decided to stay for approximately two weeks.