A house is like a mind that holds everything
A house is like a mind that holds everything is a 5-channel immersive sound installation that examines the relationship between mental space and reality. In a constructed room that reads as a simple domestic residence, the artist’s voice, reading from various classical texts, emanates from multiple points and moves in and out of audibility. Using sound as form, the artist creates two overlapping experiences of space. If the physical space of the installation provides the experience of entering an individual’s private living environment, the soundscape acts as an entry point into their mental and emotional reality. While the physical environment remains static, the artist invites participants to follow the work’s soundscape through time, moving from uncertainty to clarity. Presenting these two overlapping experiences of reality, Whitmore asks how they shape and form one another, suggesting that our physical environment impacts our mental and emotional understanding, but also that individuals can draw on their own intellectual and personal fantasies in order to shape their experience of the outside world.
This project was inspired by an article read in the NYTimes Magazine about a resident of Aleppo, Syria, who was isolated in his home during the war for four years. During that time he read profusely to keep his mind focused, absorbing Shakespeare and Moliere with such intensity that he envisioned the dramas acting out around him. Reading this account, the artist was driven to explore the incredible beauty of the human mind and it's ability to protect itself through trauma and deep uncertainty.
The video above has an editied version of the installation's full soundscape.