Trains Morphogenisis

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This sound work is designed to make viewers aware of their surroundings and the amazing experiences that are possible when we are in a hyper state of questioning awareness brought on by the machines we travel in.

The soundtrack starts with a train approaching and passing, with Doppler shift evident and the pitch of the sound getting higher and then lower. The rumble of the train is felt from the sub woofers.

This sound work tells the story of the theory of relativity and Einstein's thought experiment of taking a ride on an electron beam. It is often the machines we travel in, or on that affects our perceptual selves and shapes our daily lives. The act of speeding on trains, moving on foot or riding a bus are unique experiences, each of which forms different perceptual possibilities.

Einsteins theory of relativity was partially conceptualized by imagining the relative experience of riding a train and standing on a train platform while listening to sound. While standing on the platform and listening to the trains whistle, he noted the Doppler effect. He observed that as the train approaches the stabile viewer on a platform, the sound of the trains whistle seems to rise in pitch. As the train rushes away from the viewer, the whistles pitch decreases. The point of view of a listener sitting in the train is that the pitch of the whistle remains the same. Einstein realized, like Doppler before him, that these points of view express relative experience and this led to thought experiments, like riding a beam of light, which led to his postulate of the Theory of Relativity. For a copy of this original soundtrack on CD Rom contact Ken Rinaldo.


    Conception: Kenneth E Rinaldo
    Script: Kenneth E Rinaldo, Dr. Pan Papascosta
    Advisor to the project: Dr. Pan Papacosta, Columbia College Physicist
    Sound Design: Brenden White of Columbia College Sound Department
    Sound Actors: Dr. Pan Papacosta and Amy Youngs

    This work was first shown in the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago as part of a joint project managed by Andrea Polli and funded by the Chicago Transit Authority and Robert Morris College, Chicago, Il.

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