As part of this year’s OBEY Convention / ART-IN-FEST
May 20th – May 29th, 2014
Approaches to Erg is a multi-speaker audio installation which uses surround sound technology to generate an immersive underwater “sound map” of Halifax Harbour and the approaches. The work features a series of deep water sound recordings captured above selected shipwreck sites along a 40km stretch of the Atlantic seafloor: from the SS Daniel Steinmann (sunk off the coast of Sambro Island), to the ruins of the Erg tugboat lying in the depths of Bedford Basin near Roach Cove.
The captured sounds are arranged into a 10-minute sonic narrative (informed by the history and geography of the harbour) which moves the listener gradually along this trajectory of underwater recordings, suggesting periodic patterns of stability and instability, crisis and recovery, ebb and flow.
Approaches to Erg is part of an interdisciplinary body of work entitled Point Line Intersection: In and Around Urban Waters, which explores the interrelationships between city dwellers and natural water systems. The project examines the vast and complex network of stakeholders connected by the medium of water, as well as the ways in which our rivers, harbours, and bays have influenced national and regional identities, culture and industry, mythology and the imagination. The works in this series articulate the tension between water as a facilitator of urban activity and development, as well as a source of immense destructive power.
Chris Myhr would like to thank the Centre for Art Tapes, as well as the local community of harbour enthusiasts, divers, and historians for their generous contributions to both the research and production of this work. A special note of gratitude to Bob Chaulk, Dana Sheppard, Robyn Mitchell, Sandy Saunders, Jesse Mitchell, and Skipper Dave Gray.