Derek Hoffend | Island
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About This Project


June, 2007

Size: Installation Variable

Materials:  Sound, Electronics, Speakers, Solar Panels


Island, a piece commissioned by the Somerville Arts Council for the Windows Artist Project, is a six-channel audio-installation comprised of sounds generated in real-time by analog circuitry, which control and sculpt electrical voltages. The circuits are light-sensitive and can fluctuate between chaotic and stabile states, changing over the course of the day depending on the amount of outdoor lightness and darkness.


The textures and patterns can be reminiscent of organic sounds found in nature, as well as highly electronic. Immersed in the human-constructed habitat of the city, the piece has its own life as a miniature ecosystem, living on an extremely mediated parcel of nature amidst the bustle of a traffic island, and cohabitating with other ambient noises.


In this piece, the primary interactive force is environmental light, and the secondary force is human presence, wherein the sounds wake up when motion is detected within the island. This system, like nature, performs its processes independently of us, but reveals itself abundantly when discovered.


This work explores shifting relationships between natural and synthetic worlds and transformative processes of change that evolve through cyclic and random conditions.