Teri Rueb, Core Sample

Spectacle Island and ICA










A professor in the Graduate Department of Digital Media at RISD, Teri Rueb creates installations that consider issues of architecture and urbanism, landscape and the body, and sonic and acoustic space. Her interactive sound pieces include Trace, set along hiking trails in the Canadian Rockies, and Drift, set along the tidal flats of the Wadden Sea in Germany.

Core Sample responds to the complex, storied past of Spectacle Island, which, over the years, has been home to casinos and hotels, a horse rendering plant, city dumping, and to families who made their livelihoods and educated their children there. Spectacle is now a model of effective landscape reclamation, with hills shaped from excavated material from the Big Dig and replanted with trees, shrubs, and grasses.

Using Global Positioning Technology, Rueb has created an interactive walk with a series of audio "core samples," or sonic mixes, that explore the island's many subterranean layers. Blending fact, fiction, and voices of former residents, Rueb combines natural and processed sounds to evoke what lies beneath while also calling attention to the island's present soundscape.  On Spectacle Island visitors may borrow headphones from the Visitors' Center and them roam the island to experience an audio landscape. A sculpture located in the ICA's Founders Gallery offers another way to experience Core Sample.

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