Kochi is the main port in Kerala, the only state in India ever to have voted in a communist administration – it has the highest literacy rate in India and a high degree of organised labour and strong trade unions.
Kerala grows many spices such as pepper,
ginger, tumeric, vanilla and chilli and those spices are traded and distributed, through Kochi, to the rest of the world. The streets of the old town are lined with warehouses and trading companies.In medieval times black pepper was more valuable than gold and the world pepper trading market which fixes pepper prices is still based in Kochi.
Kochi is a multi-cultural port with old established Jewish, Portuguese, Chinese and Kashmiri communities. This is reflected in the architecture, cuisine and culture.Kochi is spread around a harbor shared by a huge range marine transport and supporting industries. Transport between parts of Kochi is by public ferry. There is small and large scale fishing, an oil terminal, a container port, cargo shopping, a cruise terminal, a naval base and all the associated services that keep a port running.
The recorded sound for BEAM Kochi was collected on a field trip in late 2014. We listened for sound based on our research into the spice industry, contemporary trade routes, immigrant communities, the container port, the politics of fishing, the poetry of the lighthouses, radio communications, the workings of the oil terminal, the state of the navy and the customs and policing issues. We had looked into communication networks and had a kind of shopping list of interviews, sounds, radio transmission and field recordings that we wished to record.
Listen to an extract of BEAM Kochi here
Dec. 2014 ‘BEAM’, interactive multichannel sound installation in Srishti Interim, UB City, Bangalore, India in
Feb 2015 ‘BEAM’, interactive multichannel sound installation Dialogic Assemblages, Artry Gallery, Kochi, India a Kochi-Muziris Biennale collateral event
For full details and credits see programme below.