This website is a collection of sound recordings gathered together for Slowtime, an art project led by artist David Beattie, commissioned by Void Gallery in Derry-Londonderry and generously funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The website acts as an archive of the audio recordings taken during the sound walks and workshops held along the River Foyle in 2021.
Slowtime addresses place, the environment, and our relationship to time through the rhythm of the tides. Beattie places community participation at the heart of the project; inviting the local community to consider the ebb and flow of the river, encouraging participants to rethink their relationship with the river and their natural environment, prompting introspection and an examination of personal and collective histories. In this period of lockdown, the river has become a central point, giving people access to nature and to commune with the idea of slowing down. In Rebecca Solnit’s book Wanderlust: A History of Walking, she says, “The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts. This creates an odd consonance between internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is also a landscape of sorts and that walking is one way to traverse it. A new thought often seems like a feature of the landscape that was there all along, as though thinking were traveling rather than making.”
Conceptually examining the in-between space through the intertidal zone of the River Foyle in Derry, Slowtime is a project that will span a period of several months in 2021. It consists of a number of related elements; a temporary sonic event to mark the high and low tides of the river in September 2021, a series of workshops and walking engagements that will invite the local community to listen to the river, exploring their locality through the medium of sound, and working alongside acoustic ecologists and marine scientists to gather data on the marine life and anthropogenic sounds from below the surface of the river. The intention is to create an interdisciplinary project based on the River Foyle that would propose an immeasurable gap between human behaviour and the natural world, an interconnected network of living and non-living things.
To listen to a recording, move the cursor or touch an icon to play an audio sample. The audio will continue to play until you click on another sample. Alternatively, you can use the mute button at any time to turn off the sound. The audio recordings are presented at random and the sequence will shuffle when the webpage is refreshed.