On the Making of Islands
This pamphlet documents the thesis of sound architect Nick Sowers, who traveled the islands of the world in 2009 and produced a project about a fictional jet noise barrier on the island of Guam. The itinerary included actual islands such as Guam, Okinawa, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Azores, and Crete. Nick also traveled to places not normally described as islands: military bases, bunkers and walled cities clearly lodged within a continent. The common denominator of these “islands”, both actual and metaphorical, follows a simple rule: an island is exclusionary. An island’s very nature is to agree internally as to its own identity so as to better exclude and differentiate itself from all other forces which may challenge that identity. The process of an island growing more distinct as an island or, alternatively, dissolving into its surrounding ocean, is fascinating to behold. It is a geologic process compressed into an observable timescale.