Remember The Rave | William Humphrey

“ For this project I am interested in exploring the memories associated with transient spaces via digital files. spaces can act as a panoptic blind spot where folks exist outside of the de facto. Underground in a literal and figurative sense. These sacred spaces are always in flux. This thread of intemporality attracted me to survey the space.

The location I chose was a place I had heard about through word of mouth. A near-vacant parking lot backs onto some train tracks. The (non) space inbetween is occupied by a towering spinning turbine. Just behind that turbine is a three-foot tall metal maintenance hole. The entrance has it’s the lid torn off and a ladder leading down. At the bottom is a long tunnel, probably used for drainage from the overpass nearby. I am alone in the space. The echo is phenomenal, and the overall vibe is a little creepy.

The sound mix is mostly composed of audio bits recorded on my cellphone at various functions over the years. I was interested in summoning the digital-audio memory of the underground spaces and events I have experienced, wrinkles and bags included. I open with a sample of Blaze’s “Do You Remember House?”, then a loop of Grace Jones’ “Nightclubbing”. Although not recordings of my own, I thought to include these references to set a mood. I moved up and down the space with a portable speaker and a stationary microphone to give a movement to the sound as it changed positioning in relation to the dimensions of this reverberant space. I ultimately mixed together the digital file with the acoustic sounds of the space for presentation.

I deviated from the audio-specificity of this project by incorporating a light performance captured by a static camera. I initially trace the tunnels enclosing walls from end to end, then I move into a more reactive performance illuminating portions of the space towards the camera. I am interested in introducing myself into the space, then venturing more abstractly into a trance within it. I superimposed three of these explorations overtop one another to bring a half-life to the space.”

Works Cited:
Grace Jones - Nightclubbing. New York (1981). Retrieved September 20, 2020, from

Blaze. (2001). Do You Remember House? New Jersey. (2002). Retrieved September 20, 2020, from

The real power of site-specific work is that it somehow activates, or engages with, the narratives of the site in some kind of way. (Pearson)