D. Jean Hester

My sound work derives from an ongoing project of mine, "Notice". Both an installation and an online work, "Notice" combines playful audience-participation with video, user-submitted text (observations from their daily lives), sound, programming and computer databases.

This project encourages people to be active participants in all that they do. By the simple act of being asked to share something they have noticed, people begin to notice more things. They become more tuned in to what is around them, perk up a bit, cast off the haze of modern life, and see the beautiful, frightening, profound things around us every single moment. The only way they can participate in "Notice" is to notice. Like the other users, my contributions to the project come from what I notice around me in the world, be it images or sounds. As a result, these sounds are "found", environmental, subtle, ambient, ongoing, evolving. Listening to them is like listening to a story... things happen, shift, change, but you have to pay attention to notice.

Newark Airport

Airport waiting area. Noise, intercoms, voices murmuring, the occasional crying and whining child.

[ tags: airport intercoms murmur ] [ genres: field recording psychogeography ] [ info: mp3 ccbysa2.0 ]


Short excerpt from the video footage which spawned the "Notice" project: shadows on a building next door to my apartment of a tree moving in the breeze. Wind, windchimes, traffic, meditative, relaxing. Send me an email and I will send you the full 13 minute version.

[ tags: windchimes wind meditative ] [ genres: field recording psychogeography ] [ info: mp3 ccbysa2.0 ]

Soup Berg

Ordering and eating lunch in a NYC diner. Brusque waiter, timid old woman ordering toast, cash registers.

[ tags: restaurant people toast ] [ genres: field recording psychogeography ] [ info: mp3 ccbysa2.0 ]

Echo Park Water Main

Late one night I came across this water main which had burst, sending water up into the air - and sprinkling back down to the pavement. Accompanied by cars in need of muffler repair, and the everpresent whump-whump of LAPD helicopters.

[ tags: environment water mufflers ] [ genres: field recording psychogeography ] [ info: mp3 ccbysa2.0 ]

D. Jean Hester is a media artist living in Los Angeles, California. Her work combines programming, databases, film, video, and performative elements to create participative/interactive pieces for both physical installations and online platforms.

Hester wishes to involve users as active, thinking, engaged participant-collaborators in the creation of art. Her more recent work explores the nature of interactivity and audience/user participation, and what happens when a work is no longer a stand-alone authored environment with a tightly controlled author-defined outcome, but when the users themselves are contributing/collaborating through the use of interactivity (be it physical real-world performative actions or interaction with a database or some other program). In this scenario the artist's intention is only part of the puzzle - the art does not exist until it is engaged. Without a user as a contributor, it is only a potentiality - not an actuality.

Her work has been shown in numerous exhibits, festivals, and screenings in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and can be seen online at www.divestudio.org. She can be contacted at jean@divestudio.org.

artist's website