New York Sound Waves
Carved From Wood

January 17, 2014 | Marina Galperina

Artist Erica Sellers‘ new work The Grind is a wooden plank, artificially rippled to mimic her field recordings collected around the city.

To create the artwork, audio samples of New York City were collected over the span of a month and converted into sound waves. The sound waves were then transformed into various three-dimensional surfaces using 3D modeling software. Finally, oscillations from the audio were milled into reclaimed local wood using CNC technology.

As in all conceptual, process-based works, The Grind demands a suspension of belief, since we can’t demand complete documentation of how the 2D peaks, nodes and troughs of sound waves were rendered into 3D data for CNC wood router coordinates. I want to believe.

The recordings are mixes of subway sounds, restaurant noises and a lot of chatter trying to be clever.