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Untitled (Pipe Dream)

Site specific installation and live performance - 2024
PVC pipe instruments, two speaker stereo sound, LED lights.

In collaboration with regiment.

Untitled (Pipe Dream) is the first collaboration between Heyse Ip and regiment bringing together elements of the artists' individual practices. A shared curiosity about sound at its most elemental form, led to an early consideration of how the simple addition of air cutting through objects can generate incredibly arresting sounds. This very process of activating, vibrating, and resonating the bodies of various materials forms the foundation for creating instruments by channeling and manipulating air through different mediums.


The process started by looking to make a completely new instrument, with the intention of responding to the Five Years space rather than simply accepting it as an empty vessel to fill. What sounds could then the site itself produce? With minimal intervention, akin to moving a magnifying lens over an image, they extracted forms from the ceiling pipes into a series of 'instruments.' This process resembled plucking a note from an infinite spectrum of potential sounds. The deliberate nature of this process aimed to explore the unique sounds each form could produce with the addition of minimal air without at any point trying to conform to standard notation. These unconventional sculptural "instruments" are not bound to a specific note or designed with a predetermined effect. Instead, they come alive, expressing their unique agency.


The result is probably closer to what Nicolas Bourriaud calls a ‘precarious object’, one that ‘has no definitive status, an uncertain future or final destiny’ and ‘occupies a transitory territory’. Yet these objects manifest an ability to capture vibrations and channel resonances that can hum into a long drone, and oscillate between lower and higher frequencies: they can be absorbed, deflected, they can be in tune with the body, as well as unsettle it. 


While the objects are an extraction from the existing pipes, the soundscape emerges as an extension, an echo, an aural mirror of the physical space - a version of the same sounds that can be heard when the pipes are ‘performed’ live. However, Heyse Ip and regiment would question whether by playing the pipes they are performing. They rather perceive this action as activating the potential of the apparatus. By providing the addition of air they become part of the instrument, forming an apparatus. 

The title, or rather the Untitled (Pipe Dream), alludes to a fantastical idea that is unattainable — a whimsical notion that the Five Years space could dream of having a voice or its own distinctive sound, a resonance it could dream of possessing. Even the possibility of un-titling the title becomes a 'fantastic notion,' ultimately a 'pipe dream.'

Shown at Five Years in collaboration with regiment.

Performance still of regiment (left) and Heyse (right).


A short excerpt from the live performance of Untitled (Pipe Dream) at Five Years.


A closeup of the instrumental sculptures suspended in space.

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