The Constant Sound of Machines (2022)
The Constant Sound of Machines (2022) is a meditation on themes of time, generational changes through environmental decline, dementia, and how we process memory through sound. The film experiments with ideas of place and journey, either literal or psychological, being integral to the understanding of certain human conditions.
In documenting a study of how sound can map environmental decline within the UK, artist/filmmaker Laurence Campbell gathered a series of field recordings from around the North West coast of England. Upon examining these sounds, what quickly became apparent, was the overwhelming impact that industry, technology and commercial leisure activities are having on the natural environments of the island.
With this in mind, a journey was taken with his young daughter from Scotland through North England and into Wales. The duo gathered sound and footage at multi-storey car parks, arcades, truck stops, amusement centres, derelict buildings, factories, underpasses and social spaces. In tandem with the documenting of these areas a fictional account, framed as a ghost story, was developed. The story of a couple suffering from dementia was written in an attempt to guide and understand the visual and audio aesthetics of dreams and how they might change with age or certain types of disease. Sections of the story are read throughout the film by a grandmother and great-granddaughter and act as a thread to link two further works in the series, which also explore collective memory, social recall through storytelling/art, and asking questions of how we experience auditory content through memory or dreams.