Desert Patterns For Living – Borderlands

Click on the image to reveal the sound.

Desert Patterns For Living – Borderlands – Tariq Anwar
Photograph – Modern Architecture and Water Systems Volume 4 1992 (c)

The name for this work comes from a paper I once tried to publish which was of the same title. My original area of study had been on the implementation of the methods necessary for people to flourish in the old border towns on the frontier of Iran and Pakistan. I spent one month travelling around villages and small settlements taking photographs, making notes and recording some simple sound recordings. These recordings form the backbone of my current work with sound. Particularly, here on Borderlands as well as in the forthcoming series I am presenting with Sonospace.

The work I did on that paper never lead to anything but the title stayed with me. Also, the dream. The dream to bring water to the desert. The dream to see trees and plants bloom because of my direct actions and designs. Furthermore, I want to address the periphery and bring it to the centre. The borderlands, the sound of unnoticed lives. The lives of people who gradually fade and leave our environment taking their memories with them. I feel inside myself an element of these people who I never knew or met. I hear their sound and it drifts somewhere lost and out of time. In the spaces they have left behind.

Nothing in my training as an architect prepared me for this moment. This moment of sensory development. These remnants of lost moments. Drifting in space-time, hiding from the light. Pretend and rehearsed understanding. Names given and attached when in reality the streets have no name and words may never truly express our innermost thoughts.

For this project I tried to achieve the minimal possible sonic documentation of the locations that I visited. I focused on the quiet moments and spent my time thinking of who had passed this way before. What had they thought? Who were they? Simple things.