An Art in General New Commission presented in collaboration with Knockdown Center. “Room Tone” refers to the moment on a film set when crew and actors pause in order for the sound mixer and boom operator to record room tone, the subtle location-specific sound present in every space. Weaving narrative between film segments and object-making, O’Daniel will create a layered and immersive installation. Based on collaborations with three contemporary composers, Steve Roden, Christine Sun Kim, and Ethan Frederick Greene, O’Daniel builds a visual, aural, and haptic vocabulary through varying levels of access to information such as color, sound, and storyline.
O’Daniel’s engagement with different mediums is a type of call-and-response, building upon and transforming the specific language of one onto another. Experimental and documentary film collapse and coincide with sculpture and installation, in a collaborative process that highlights the inevitable loss or re-creation of information as it passes through various channels. The presentation purposefully disables audience members’ normative perception of events and materials in order to present new modes of listening and seeing. Emphasizing subjects’ relationship to silence or unavailable sonic elements, Room Tone draws on O’Daniel’s own experience as a hard-of-hearing artist. The project’s form of exploded storytelling results in a performative arc that is less reliant on traditional script structure and more on physical choreography and collaboration. The audience is guided through narrative holes, unknowns, and missing parts in order to engage in a process of deep listening that aims to extend far beyond the aural realm.