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Soundwalk Team Project - Insight to the Elevators

We take elevators to classes every day, but very few really think about what elevators could mean to us regarding connections.

The elevators of the Tisch building are the only objects that connect diverse students from all different programs on different floors. It is the only place in the building where all the students in various programs are so close to each other physically, which supposed to be conducive for mingling and exchanging thoughts. Yet, it is the place where people feel the most disconnected as well. The absence of the sense of belonging is one of the many causes. Closely surrounded by strangers makes it awkward to really have a conversation in an elevator. In a busy city like NY, the space inside the elevator is prob the only quiet place one could find, all one could hear was “ding” when it reaches each floor. The contrast of the crowd and the dead silence in the elevator could be quite uncomfortable and intense.

  • Instruction for Our Audience: We use elevators every day, but have you ever paid attention to what goes on in an elevator as well as the rule it plays in our experience here at Tisch School of the Arts? Here we invite you to take an elevator tour. We recommend you to experience the “journey” alone during a not-busy time of the week without disturbance, but experiencing it during rush hours could enhance the experience as well, it is up to you. The soundwalk would ask you to press the buttons of certain floors, but please remain in the elevator when the door opens, and further go on to the next floor.

  • Structure for the Soundwalk: It starts with the wait for the elevator in the lobby with the noises of people hustling and talking. As the elevator dings, the door opens, people flock into the tiny space. Shortly after people declaring the floors they want to go to, it quiets down as people feel awkward to be physically close to strangers and don’t feel connected or the sense of belonging. All one could hear was the sound of clothes rubbing. However, a few people connect within a few seconds because they already knew each other. They started whispering a little. “Ding!” The elevator door opens, the sound of that certain floor with specific program fills in the emerging space in the elevator caused by some people getting off. The door then slowly closes again. Going up, with the silence inside the tiny space, all one could hear is the sound of the cable wires of the elevator moving and the dinging of each floor. Door opens again... (It depends on how many floors we ended up including in our soundwalk)

Check out our field recordings!

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