"For Tamm, sounds, a tsunami, and an earthquake are all things that result from waves and, as such, inherently possess correlation. During his residency, he visited the Earthquake Research Institute at the University of Tokyo and the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience, and conducted research on the relationship between sound and Buddhism, Shinto, and folk beliefs. He also came into contact with traditional Japanese instruments such as the koto and continued to increase his collection of sounds in his audio library, recording the sounds of bells at temples in Kyoto and Ibaraki Prefecture as well as the sounds made during the casting of a temple bell at a foundry in the town of Makabe in Ibaraki. He also conducted a workshop involving an amateur chorus group in Moriya.

At Open Studios (with Arcus Project), visitors are invited to lie down and listen to the sounds. This “listening session” is an attempt to use sounds in order to evoke some hereditary ability within our bodies, similarly to how catfish can supposedly sense tremors before earthquakes happen, and that has perhaps lain dormant since ancient times. In Tamm’s way of thinking, we can find the connectivist idea of trying to locate links between things that initially seem unrelated."

Kenichi Kondo
Guest Curator 2017 / Curator, Mori Art Museum

In the "womb" (photo courtesy of Arcus Project)

In the "womb" (photo courtesy of Arcus Project)

Center for Cellular Alignment was a series of intimate and disorienting 'experiential lectures' held at Arcus Project, built from the fundamental perspective that accidents are the shape beyond systems.

The project in its rhizomatic parts approaches sound as an inherently fractal phenomena, whereby one can physically access large-scale seismic events through even the smallest of noises and sound waves.

As a way to speculate upon how cities siren infrastructure may be utilized for purposes of deep-listening as well as signal warning, I developed a library of siren candidates specific to sounds in Japan; ranging from ultrasonics of cicadas and other-worldly Pachinko melodies, to the seductive chanting of Itakos (Japanese Shamans) in rural Aomori, to the screaming and stomping of the local Kendo club in Moriya, Ibaraki. After a three months of making and gathering, a few candidates began to really stand out. I worked with a dozen Buddhist temples throughout Kyoto, Tokyo and Ibaraki prefecture to record and play with the frequencies of Bonsho (multi-ton, ancient temple bells). By spatializing the listener's body within the 'womb' of these Bonsho recordings (utilizing a multi-channel speaker array to simulate their precise center), along with the accidental interference from other candidates in the sound-library, Center for Cellular Alignment functioned as a social space where the experience of listening is used as a tool for understanding seismicity.