Saturday was SoundWalk 09, a free event that takes over the East Village Arts District for a few hours every year. Similar to years past, the event is a good idea that never reaches its maximum potential. So, for SoundWalk 10 organizers, here are a few suggestions.
1. When dealing with sound, you can't put a bunch of installations close to one another. This works with visual art, not with aural.
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2. Limit the level of sound coming from each participant. More than once, something I thought was interesting was drowned out by a more dominating piece. One remedy to this would be to have certain sections of the East Village devoted to quieter pieces and another to loud pieces. Or perhaps artists--like musicians--should be given set times. "If you wanna make loud noise, you can do it from this time to this time." That sort of thing.
3. And ferchrissakes, block off the goddamn streets. There was a really cool exhibit on Broadway that had headphones hanging from a tree. Each had a different sound--one was birds chirping, the other a motor running. But you know what? Cars driving down the street are much louder than that.
4. Galleries selling/giving away wine would cause for more police presence (and we all know we don't need that), but a glass of wine here and there should would have made the night a bit more...I don't know...fun?
5. Speaking of fun...first off, don't start at 5 p.m. Second, when you tell the public the event begins at 5 p.m., start the motherfucker at 5 p.m. People were still setting up around 6, which totally makes the event look unorganized. On a related note...isn't this the East Village Arts District? My guess is this has more to do with the city and less to do with the event organizers, but you know what artists like? Nighttime. You know what they don't like? Daytime. Artists don't wear suits and ties, they don't adhere to structure and they sure as hell don't come out during the day.