Teri Rueb: Listening to Baltimore

Published: Apr 21, 2016

Teri Rueb, assistant professor of visual arts, is creating an interactive Baltimore City tour.

“Teri Rueb: Listening to Baltimore”

“If these walls could speak, what tales they could tell” isn’t just a saying to Teri Rueb, it’s an artistic challenge. The assistant professor of visual arts creates interactive sound installations which allow visitors to explore a terrain on several different levels – listening to its stories, songs, and history – while walking and looking.

“I approach sound from a sculptor’s point of view,” says Rueb, “exploring its spatial aspects,” while also probing themes of time, memory, identity—and technology. In her “Trace” environmental sound installation, Rueb enabled hikers in British Columbia to hear site-specific poems, songs, and musings while carrying a backpack loaded with a Global Positioning Satellite device and small computer. She took the concept to an urban landscape in her Open City installation in Washington, D.C., exploring the idea of public space and civic identity.

Now, with the support of a Faculty Research Fellowship, Rueb will spend the fall 2001 semester creating “Invisible Cities/Sounding Baltimore,” which will collect oral histories from residents of Baltimore neighborhoods and combine them with sound compositions to create a kind of multi-layered, interactive, city tour. “I’ll go to parts of the city that I find sonically interesting, take samplings of the soundscape, and manipulate them, taking artistic license,” she explains. Using a wireless, handheld device combining palm pilot, GPS, and MP3 technologies, listeners will wander through the city and listen to the tales the streets, and walls, can tell.


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