LET THE RECORD SHOW: a response to the Lancaster Sound Map.
Lancaster Public Art
map Images provided by Google Earth
LET THE RECORD SHOW is a public art project created by artist Matt Allyn Chapman with the help of fellow artists Caitlin Downs, and Matthew Kabik. In collaboration with Lancaster Public Art, and funded in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts the project is a direct response to The Lancaster Sound Map. The LSM is a multi-faceted project revealing the diverse character of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Created by artist Stuart Hyatt, the LSM is intended to be a growing platform of free-use content, from which many creative projects may arise.
Looking at the roots of where Hyatt started his project, we plan to expand on them visually. Over the course of a year, Stuart gathered audio recordings from all around Lancaster County. Along with the FIELDWORKS group of musicians he condensed the recordings into nine original audio tracks. These recordings were collected and made into a vinyl record titled BORN IN THE EAR.
Using the vinyl record, its packaging, and it’s circular shape as a point of departure, our project will bring together visual art, the written word, and audio documentation. Chapman is to make a series of nine pieces based on walks that he, Kabik, and Downs embark on from nine locations in Lancaster County. Each piece will be created within a circular boarder, exactly the same circumference as a vinyl record. Each walk will be tracked and recorded using GPS, as if they were the drawing tool and the landscape is their paper. The resulting “walk line” will then be incorporated into each of his nine pieces. The content of each will vary based on the experience of the walk and the observations He makes.
As the record contained a written piece to accompany each track, Chapman's works will be accompanied by a collection of corresponding short stories. Four written by Matthew Kabik, four written by Caitlin Downs, and the 9th will be a collaborative effort between all three artists. Kabik will also be conducting an audio recording of the excursions and capture the genuine nature of the conversations, along with all atmospheric and residual noises. He will then accumulate these into “episodes” that can be accessed and listened to during the project as well as after it’s completion. Creating in a sense, a sound map of our own.
The final project will culminate into printed and signed editions of the artworks and writings. Each edition will be housed in a heavyweight gatefold album jacket, mimicking a vinyl record. Inside each jacket will hold a series of nine individual prints, one for each of the nine circular pieces created by Chapman. Also contained in the jacket will be the collected short stories written by Downs and Kabik . These collections will be produced in a small run of 100 editions, 50 being available during our crowdfunding campaign, 40 will be made available during a project reception held in Lancaster city, and 10 will be donated to Lancaster Public Art. The original drawings along with their respective short story will be displayed at the Lancaster City Amtrak Station.
This project is more than just walking and looking, it’s about moving outside of our familiar spaces and entering new ones. Spaces which hold new experiences that the landscape and environment have cultivated. Some can be revisited time and time again, and others that can only exist in the present. To walk is to make a contact unlike any other. It’s not so much about transportation, but connection to the physicality of place, and to the people who built it, and continue to live in it.
The residents and communities of Lancaster County and those beyond have an opportunity to see how unique we all are, while finding common threads that bind us, all at the same time. Ultimately bringing the original artworks to the Lancaster Amtrak station will give visitors and commuters alike a glimpse into just how vibrant Lancaster is, not just in it’s arts, but in the wholeness that makes this county what it is today.
Matt Allyn Chapman studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia (MFA) as well as Lancaster’s Pennsylvania College of Art & Design (BFA). He continues to show his work regularly in Lancaster and Philadelphia and serves as Adjunct Instructor of Drawing in the Foundation Department at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design (PCA&D).
Matthew Kabik earned his MFA from Arcadia University. Since graduating, he’s received multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize and publications across the U.S. and abroad. He is now serving as editor in chief of Third Point Press, a local, online lit mag that promotes poetry, art, and fiction from local counties as well as the world at large.
Caitlin Downs holds a Master’s in English, Bachelor's in Interdisciplinary Humanities, and Certificate of Visual Arts in Photography. She teaches courses at
the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, Harrisburg Area Community College, and Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. Her interests include encaustic and alternative print making, found poetry, and long walks with her dog.