Author Archives: Devin

On Light Painting Petty John’s Cave: An Essay

I am looking at the print of the Chandelier that John Paul framed for me. In the photo the formation has a ghostly air about it. Stripped of context it tells you nothing about where or what it is. It reminds me a bit of spirit photography, a sort of ectoplasmic excrescence, which I suppose it is, at least geologically speaking. Yet I was present for this clicking of the shutter. I witnessed the history of its taking and recorded it myself albeit in complementary media, i.e. audio and writing. The Read more [...]

If the Droplet is a Chisel then the Pool it Plummets into is a Drum

While the cave environments we’ve so far explored can sometimes seem almost unnaturally soundless, the ambient soundscape is actually replete with riches for the ears if only you attune yourself to it. In this piece of documentary sound art David Mastysiak investigates the sonic qualities of dripping water, sounds that represent the aural residue of the processes that sculpt and mold cave morphology over time. Composed of manipulated field recordings and sounds pilfered from the nether Read more [...]

The Cave You Fear to Enter

After our last excursion into Petty John’s Cave, a six hour long odyssey that culminated with us witnessing a majestic underground waterfall, the Speleogen Sound Team resolved to begin composing a musical score that could be mapped at least imaginatively upon the routes we followed, the sites we registered, and the obstacles we encountered. This video, shot and edited by David Matysiak, documents a recent rehearsal in our studio space where we experimented with tones, textures, and voicings Read more [...]

Fresh from the Depths

Greetings fellow spelunkers, bottom-dwellers, pancake-squeezers, Z-Bend-shimmiers, and all-around underground travelers. We write with a couple of announcements concerning Speleogen’s recent activities. For the last couple of months members of Team Speleogen have been posting multimedia works inspired by our recent journeys through Petty John’s Cave on our lovely new website, which was designed by our very own Mason Brown. We plan to publish a brand new piece every week on Thursday mornings, Read more [...]

Brushes Forged with Light

In this sound collage Devin Brown recalls an excursion with John Paul Floyd to make fine art photographs in Petty John's Cave. In addition to documentary audio taken during the venture this piece is also composed of recordings from Speleogen's music rehearsals and text prepared and read by Devin. Read more [...]

Floyd Collins Mindsurf

Using documentary audio recorded inside of Petty John's Cave, David Matysiak re-imagines the tragic legacy of legendary caver Floyd Collins for the 21st century. Read more [...]

Cave Index

Excursion 2 / July 10, 2013 Hours clocked underground: 2.75 Fellow explorers encountered in the cave: 0 Bat sightings: 3, including 2 actual bats and one piece of bad Batman-themed graffiti. See “Number of cave tags” entry below. Handmade egg rolls devoured at Uncle Jed’s truckstop; this delicacy is available only once a week on Wednesdays: 0 Cave tacos consumed by John Paul after photographing the Jam Hole: 2 Ingredients that comprise a cave taco: avocados, hardboiled eggs, Read more [...]

The First Descent

Excursion 1 / June 15, 2013 For our first excursion into the field we set virtually no agenda. We brought with us some portable audio recording devices, digital cameras, cell phones, and musical instruments, specifically a melodica and an mbira (thumb piano), that were small and durable enough to be lugged around inside the cave. In fact when trying to decide what to bring with us we nearly left the instruments behind, including them only reluctantly at the last minute at John Paul’s Read more [...]

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