I did my sound walk project today. I began by putting a note on the front of my shirt that said “I am doing a recorded soundwalk for a class project.”
To hear the recording of the soundwalk click—–> Mackintosh-Corry Bathroom/Consumption Soundscapes
The idea of this particular soundwalk was to travel through (un)gendered spaces of consumption and ridding, in particular bathrooms in Mackintosh-Corry and the newly opened food court. I used elevators, stairwells, and hallways as transitional spaces.
I wanted to start the walk in restooms because most people think of consumption as separate from ridding, however, I maintain they are processes that are bound up. One rids predicated on future consumption. I imagine one uses the restroom in order to be able to consume more food or beverage in the future and not the other way around (typically–of course there are exceptions to this idea). One doesn’t typically consume food in drink with the major intent being that “yay, I’m going to rid this later!”
So the walk starts on the 2nd floor of Mackintosh-Corry Hall part D.
1. I began in the men’s washroom. I listened to the sounds coming from inside the restroom (largely mechanistic) and sounds from outside the restroom (largely human voices). ( about 2 1/2 minutes) I used the sink while in the men’s room.
2. Next, I went across the hall the women’s restroom. Listen to the water, from the sink, from the toilet, from the human. I used the washroom. Washed my hands. Dried them with paper towels. I couldn’t hear her fixing her hair. I couldn’t hear her looking in the mirror.
3. I took the elevator up to the 5th floor in Section D of Mac-Corry. Listen to the whirring of the motor, perhaps greet a friend as I did. Listen to the dings of each floor. Listen to doors open and close.
4. I entered the men’s room. I listened to the sound of myself taking pictures in front of the urinal. I listend to the sound of myself writing on my notepad about the soundwalk then and now in progress.
5. I crossed the hall to the women’s restoom. Listen to the sink drip. Listen to the fluorescent lights.
6. I took the stairwell back to the second floor. Listen to your own footsteps and those of others.
7. Walk down the hallway of Mackintosh-Corry until you reach the restrooms across from the food court behind the vending machines. I entered the women’s restoom. I couldn’t hear her looking in the mirror. Play a symphony of hand dryers. Turn on the extreme sinks- Do they sound different? Flush two toilets- do they sound different?
8. I walk through the hallway until I reach the men’s restroom. Listen. Go into a stall and listen. Someone else is here. Does liquid entering a urinal sound different than a toilet? Gendered noises, gendered spaces.
9. Go across the hall into the food court area. Approach the coffee pots. Are they brewing? Are they heating? Are they being poured into paper cups and mugs?
10. Approach the tables. Listen to someone eating or drinking. Can you tell if the person is male or female just by listening?
*Observations (not necessarily visual)
1.My very presence in the restrooms lead to a decrease in the likelihood of certain bodily sounds.
2.We enter gendered spaces of bathrooms to rid things from our bodies, but share a space for consuming theses very things we will later rid.