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Floor : Material and Sound

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The different materials of the floor with a visitor.


The circular floor of the Dome Room was divided into twelve areas, each covered with a different textured material to provide a variety of physical impressions. In the center was a 20 foot wide glass floor, through which the visitor could see the Clam Room below. One floor section was a berm, that is a raised platform about a foot higher than the glass floor. The different materials on the floor sections included Astroturf, gravel, rough wood, driveway tile (a bouncy material), lead, a non-skid surface, Japanese stone, asphalt, carpet, and smooth wood.

The sound loops embedded in each floor area produced sound signals that were coordinated with the type of material used on that particular floor area. Through handsets, visitors could hear different sounds while standing on each different floor material: on the tile floor, horses hooves and shattering glass; on the Astroturf, ducks, frogs, cicadas and lions roaring; on the rough wood, sounds of sawing, etc.


As visitors entered the Pavilion through the entrance tunnel, each was given a battery-powered handset,  a clear plastic cylinder that emitted light and sound when held above certain floor areas in the Dome Room. While the system used the same principle that Steve Paxton used in his 9 Evenings performance, the large current loops embedded in the floor which drove the handsets were especially designed for the Pavilion.​ Each floor area contained roughly twenty loops wired to a tape recorder and power amplifier in the control room. Each floor section emitted its own unique sounds that corresponded to the material the floor was composed of, so the visitors could move around the floor creating their own changing sound and light  experience.


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