Media Art, Sound & Listening

Hold Up Half the Sky


Jessica Feldman (Communication, Media, and Culture): Sound Lab Projects & Research: Hold Up Half the Sky & related pedagogical research 


Hold Up Half the Sky is a sound and video installation project, which uses virtual reality/3D audiovisual techniques to create an immersive installation consisting of video and sound shot while walking in protests in a handful of international cities, especially Paris. Instead of headsets, the piece uses 3D/VR and spatialized audio techniques to create an immersive space that viewers can enter, changing the typical isolation of VR technology into a communal space. The installation contrasts the raucous, human, emotional sounds of protest with visuals of the slow, ephemeral, drifting clouds and changing light, also protecting and conflating the identities of the protestors by avoiding any human imagery. The past years have been exciting and active for civil society in Paris, and the role civic/participant media has been important to documenting and understanding the current movements. This piece provides a space to witness, experience, and consider the tensions of remoteness versus participation, of witnessing versus -- or as a type of -- intervention. The project comments on the fetishization of “the virtual,” the isolation encouraged by VR gaming, the role of the gallery in political activism, and the question of remote participation in political protest.  

Alongside this projects, Feldman acquired necessary tools and planned workshops on related digital media/critical making skills including: speaker design, circuit building and bending for sound and interactivity, physical computing, soldering, and interactive video.