Air Travel Audit

An audit of space.

“The notion of auditing spaces for prospective performances, exhibitions, even meetings. Look at where to find the poetry in the site.” – Michael Graeve 9/3/16

Perth Airport

Quiet (it’s 10pm), lights dimmed, sleeping pills, end of a long weekend, exhausted bodies moving slowly through the space. Sporadic calls over the PA system.

Flight VA696 PER – MEL (22:35 AWST – 05:10 AEST)

The aircraft we board has a certain sterility about it, yet around the edges and in the cracks the traces of those here before us can be seen.

Everything is muted as I’m wearing earplugs, except my own speech which is amplified through the bones of my head. This puts me at a remove those around me. The plane is a hermetically sealed bubble in the sky and I am attempting to make myself a bubble within that bubble.

There are other sealed bubbles and I hear them being torn open – the plastic wrap enclosing headphones, the foil around food, aluminium ring pulls granting access to poor over-priced beer.

There’s a distinct lack of any sound that one could describe as being of the natural world. Intimacy of space has been broken due the cramped conditions and the time of day. People will be attempting to sleep on this flight. I hear snores, the sounds of eating, the removal of shoes and garments. I would not normally be this close to someone I did not know, nor would I be privy to these actions.

Also heard: nervous chatter, discussions regarding the in-flight entertainment system, the buckling of belts, seatbelt sign alerts, changes in the frequency of engine hum, small children (both sad and happy sounds).

Materials: plastics, low-profile carpet, leather seats.

Light: Varied. Artificial. Darkness.

Colour: Whites, lots of greys, Virgin purples and reds.

Weight: On a heavy vehicle with heavy luggage, yet so much is light – the cutlery and other consumables.

Smell: Recycled air, cheap food, new luggage, aviation diesel.

 

 

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