The Ecocycle Labyrinth was an installation of light and sound which is intended to encourage those who walk its path to reflect on its themes. It brings together the insights of the Ecocycle, used to guide organisations through periods of decline and growth, and the meditative practice of the labyrinth, used for centuries as a way of encouraging focus and contemplation, in a new and creative way.
The Ecocycle takes the shape of an infinity loop which moves through phases of birth, growth, maturity, death, reintegration and possibility. These phases form the natural rhythm of our world and our lives, and each belongs in its own time and its own way. Differences and opposites are held together in a creative tension, and the cycle enables us to see the potential of renewal beyond the point of crisis.
The labyrinth was intended as a way of as a way of reconnecting with the cycles of the earth, reflecting on a particular question or situation you are facing. There are no expectations, only invitations.
This installation was a collaborative project between Mike Love, Jonathan Dorsett, and myself. My contribution to the installation took the form of a four-channel loudspeaker array which created an immersive sound field, acting to frame the experiences of visitors by placing them in a diverse array of sound worlds. The role of sound in this instance was to frame engagement with the visual and spatial elements of the installation, by bringing visitors into listening and through listening, into the present moment. The loudspeakers played two types of material which had separate functions. First, soundscape material, recorded locally around Leeds responded to themes contained within the panarchy loop and acted to frame visitors’ experiences. Segments of soundscape material fade in from nothing over a prolonged period of time and place the listener in a diverse situations (woodlands, markets, motorway flyovers, residential streets), which impact the interpretation of visual cues in the space. Second, a series impulses from prayer bowls recorded at the Leeds Buddhist Centre were used, as if in a formal meditation context, to bring listeners to attention.
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.”
- – T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets