'Historic parking lots of Providence / introduced birdsong' was a context-specific intervention and sound work within the public space of central Providence (USA), and was developed and presented within a research residency awarded and supported by Brown University (Providence, RI, USA). The work was created within Brookes' ongoing collaboration with Spanish artist and performer Rosa Casado, and initiated the fourth phase of exploration within their long-term 'Just a little bit of history repeating' project.
For a single working day, on Thursday 17th October 2013, the intervention highlighted thirty of central Providence’s surface level parking lots that – contrary to assumptions that they are sites of transition, neglect, or failed developments – have in fact been designated and in use as parking lots since city surveys of the 1950s. The collective impact and physical presence of these sites within the city’s central downtown area was revealed and reframed by the introduction of thirty movement-sensitive audio devices containing the recorded song of a single Lincoln’s sparrow – a bird still present, but now more common within the wetlands that were once part of the city centre – into all thirty of the lots simultaneously. Through this act, the work enabled direct and reflective personal encounters, at a city scale, while realising a subtle and propositional shift of the aural ambient of the city centre in actuality.
The project was developed and realised in collaboration with residents, historians and city archives.