FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington recently opened an exhibit by sound artist and 2010 UMF alumnus Andrew Thompson. “Interstices: A Sonic Map of Portland, Maine” will be on exhibit through Nov. 12, in the Flex Gallery in the Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF campus.

This free exhibit will feature a presentation by the artist from 4:30-5:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 29, in the Flex Gallery.

Over the past three years, Thompson has been recording the sounds of Portland in an effort to make a comprehensive sound portrait of the city. This compilation of hour-long recordings at each crosswalk focuses on the geography of space and community of the city. In this acoustic environment, hundreds of speakers play back each recording individually creating an immersive auditory experience that brings to light those shared moments we all hear but rarely reflect on.

Thompson’s soundscapes revolve around themes of memory, shared space, and the rituals in which we take part as individuals and as a community. Since his graduation in 2010 from the UMF, his work has become intensely site-specific. “Heard” explores the “notion of how histories and memories change and are affected by their local environment.”

In line with 1970s minimalist composers, Thompson aims to eliminate the barriers between artist and audience. In witnessing the process of art together, he sees an unparalleled possibility of connection.

Thompson’s exhibit is the first in a series of events presented by the UMF Sound Forum Co-Lab. A UMF “Co-Lab” is an experiential learning opportunity that brings together students from different courses and disciplines — often in concert with community members and organizations — to pursue a challenging issue or to undertake a shared project.

The Sound Forum Co-Lab is designed to show that sound knows no boundaries. From acoustics to bird song, radio to environmental sounds, amplification for a rock concert to amplification to politically oppress, sound, silence, and noise shape the aural landscape of our lives.

These events are sponsored by the Office of the UMF Provost; UMF Department of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry; and the Divisions of Social Science and Business, Natural Science and Humanities; and the Emery Community Arts Center.

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