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VENUE: Royal Melbourne Hospital as part of Nite Art


ARTIST: Luke Paulding

Vessel is a site referential sound art project devised for a stretch of tunnel beneath the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Drawing on physiological metaphors around the inner workings of the human body, the tunnel is reimagined as part of an arterial network or system of blood vessels connected to a greater organism. Concurrently, the notion of vessel also references audience participants as they traverse through the passageway, activating the work.


The context of the site as a fully operational channel for the transportation of supplies and a circulation system for resources in the form of water, waste and oxygen to the hospital above, further reinforces and informs the conceptual response.


An intricate array of loudspeakers, low-frequency effects, tactile transducers and piezoelectric sensors will transform the tunnel into a “sound chamber”, as the audience moves through the space. Bodily, visceral audio such as the sound of blood flowing through arteries, heart sonograms and EEG recordings of brain activity will be audible. Further, the sound world of the tunnel will be reconfigured into infrasonic waves (below 20Hz), in turn, causing physical vibrations for the audience.


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