“Liberty” is a sound installation located in a parking bunker at the former Sand Point Naval Air Station Seattle, Washington. This work was created for the Seattle Arts Commission as part of its temporary public art projects at this park.
The piece refers to “liberty” as a release from duty, sometimes referred to as “shore leave.” The term also refers to the ideal of liberty as a directive for the creation of the organizations and engines of defense and war. The parking bunker is a long, partially underground structure meant to house vehicles. It has views to the park, the sky and Lake Washington. Within its open concrete structure are a series of columns. The shape of this structure allows for a defined sense of acoustic echo. Because of this acoustic experience, a person walking its length would experience heightened sense of physical density. The sound is suprisingly tactile and projects far into the park. The sound mechanism for the installation is mounted in metal cages attached to the ceiling and side walls at each of bunker. The sound is controlled by a commercial MD (digital mini-disc) player mounted with an equalizer (for tuning) and an amplifier. These are switched on by a timer mounted in an electrical box.
The sounds chosen to broadcast in the site are from two sources: an airplane propeller motor (Navy Corsair C4U fighter) and a Navy ship engine, both of World War II vintage. Two speakers are mounted at opposite ends of the bunker. The sound of the airplane and ship interplay. This resonating dialogue passes back and forth in the space, making the structure a vessel of waves of memory.