prakash krishnan – Audio Description: Sound Booth at the Feminist Media Studio


 


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Part of: Talking to Each Other: A Collective Sounding Project

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This piece was written and performed by Prakash Krishnan on location at the new sound booth located within the Feminist Media Studio (FMS) at Concordia University’s Loyola campus. A technology shared between the FMS and the Access in the Making Lab (AIM) this piece disrupts the notion of audio description as solely a sterile accessory within a suite of accessibility practices. Instead, it rearticulates descriptive practices as a mode of sensorial engament that is both political and feminist in nature. While members of FMS and AIM engage in projects around accesibilizing our spaces, access to the south booth is nevertheless restricted by multiple barriers. First, university protocols restricted access to buildings both during and preceding the COVID-19 related closures. Second, the FMS itself requires an authorized key card to enter and the room within which the sound booth is housed requires an additional key to be unlocked. Third, the dimensions of the sound booth itself cannot accommodate the use of a wheelchair inside. As someone able to bypass these restrictions, I described the environment in a way to fragment the booth and the space, highlighting the histories and non-neutrality of the space. 





Subtitles
Entering the Feminist Media Studio’s largest editing suite,

it is impossible to ignore the white obelisk

protruding from the ground.

Facing the entrance is one corner edge of the obelisk.

It stands over 2 meters tall and 1.5 meters wide.

The ubiquitous white of each of the two visible sides

are marked only by the edges of the series of uniform rectangular panels

that compose its exterior.

The rest of the studio space

is also quite large and bizarre.

Trapezoidal in shape,

its longest wall, the right,

is convex,

ballooning the space with its creative potential.

The lower right wall is stacked with miscellaneous equipment:

seven grey foam wall panels,

two neon yellow ladders,

a pile of amorphous bean bags,

each the size of a single mattress.

The floor is marked with green painter’s tape

pointing to no clear direction

but remain as trace documents for activities once supported in the space.

It is only by crossing the room

and turning and facing back toward the entrance

is the door to the obelisk revealed.

Breaking the uniformity of the other three sides,

the door consists of a thick,

clear, glass pane in a black frame with a silver handle.

The door swings outwards

to reveal the sound booth I am standing in.

The ceiling and upper three quarters of the booth

are coated with a sound-absorbing textured dark grey foam.

Small, round hills descend from the ceiling foam

contrasted with the thick foam squares

protruding from the sides.

The equipment in the booth consists of a microphone

encapsulated inside of a metal cage

and descends from a moveable metal arm.

Supported on a small white ledge

is keyboard and mouse

corresponding to the monitor screen that hangs from above.

There is a very faint hum emerging from the ventilation fan

but all I can hear now is my own voice and breath.

This

is our sound booth.

Captions
[A medium-deep voice speaks in a monologue over near-perfect silence.]

[The voice is queer, soft, steady, and a little breathy.]

Credits
[medium-high pitch voice]
This video was made in the context of a two-week workshop for Talking To Each Other, a multimedia project on the topics of access, disability, and collective sound making. The workshop was facilitated by Piper Curtis and Razan AlSalah. The Talking To Each Other project was directed by Simone Lucas with the Access in the Making Lab and The Feminist Media Studio. 
    

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