Bill Fontana: Silent Echoes

1 May 2009 – 30 May 2009

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'Silent Echoes', a new audio and video work by Bill Fontana, explores the sounds of five famous Buddhist Temple bells in Kyoto when they are not ringing. Vibration sensors were attached to the bells and acoustic microphones were placed inside of their resonant cavities. They measured and recorded how these bells are in fact ringing all the time in response to the ambient sounds of the environment. In the context and psychology of Buddhist culture the idea of a bell ringing all the time is a powerful metaphor. There is a famous mediation in which one strikes a bowl shaped bell and if one's attention is unwavering one experiences that this bell does not stop ringing as long one is listening. ...when a bell rings it is only the sound of the bell listening to the sound of the bell. Or to put it another way it is the sound of yourself ringing. This is the moment of enlightenment."

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