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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bridge Life, Revealed!

Posted by Virginia Thayer on Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 12:53 PM

TBA:11 - ready or not, here it comes! I'm pretty psyched to check out The Hidden Life of Bridges which runs from this Thursday (opening night of the fest) through Saturday night. Here's a little preview:


In The Pit from Ed Purver

As I mentioned in my article a couple weeks ago, this large-scale public art collaboration from Ed Purver and Tim DuRoche aims to show a new perspective on a couple of the bridges we think we're so familiar with. What I didn't get to mention in much depth are the logistics of the thing, the how and what, which are the most useful bits. So hit the jump.

How: To best appreciate this piece, one should be located on the deck of the Hawthorne Bridge (which will have speakers to broadcast the sound), facing the Morrison Bridge. Or if you have a cell phone handy, you'll have a decent view from Tom McCall Waterfront Park as well, and you can call 503-713-5852 to hear the same live audio. Like a drive-in movie!

What you will hear: Clips from interviews with various employees of the Multnomah County Bridge Section, the folks responsible for all the intricate workings of the spans. Theirs are true Portland stories not often told. Underneath and between these clips will be a live mix of what's picked up by several microphones under, on, and around the Hawthorne Bridge. The metal deck vibrates at different frequencies with each passing vehicle, and it sounds pretty cool, like this:


Under the Morrison Bridge from Ed Purver.

What you will see: Photos and video of the bridges and of those engineers, operators, and maintainers interviewed, along with real-time visualizations of the sound waves coming from the Hawthorne audio.

The video projection will only happen on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 9-11pm, but if you miss those, you'll still be able to listen live to the sounds of the Hawthorne Bridge from 11am-11pm every day until October 9 by calling the number or tuning in to the website.

I'd really urge you to see this one if you can. It's a very Portland-specific, one-of-a-kind event. And come on dudes, it's free!

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