The history of the TANK is populated by many unique experiences, experiments, and educations, which until recently had existed almost exclusively under the radar. While I have only had one occasion to visit the tank, the access I was granted on my visit made it obvious to me exactly how important and influential this space has been, and will continue to be. We live in a culture saturated by stimulation designed to please and provoke the eyes. As a consequence, our ability to hear is muted, while we are blinded by the ubiquitous bombardment of visual information. The TANK is a remedy for ocular fatigue, and a renaissance for the ears. The reverberant walls incite hyper-conscious listening, and it’s remote geography beckons visitors to unplug from their regularly scheduled programming to make the pilgrimage. It is a space that is difficult to ignore, especially after one has experienced it.
The mission of THE FRIENDS OF THE TANK to both protect and share the TANK with the world is a noble and significant one, which begins to fill an underrepresented niche in our culture. While much of the over 35+ years of documentation of this space is currently being digitized, categorized, and codified, the true potential of this place is just now beginning to surface. The Point of Maximum Potential; a boulder at the peak of a hill the moment before physics takes hold and forces it into a kinetic state. This is the moment we are at with the TANK.
As we begin to install infrastructure, electricity, and accessibility, the potential uses of the TANK have begun to grow with public interest. There is much hope amongst the THE FRIENDS OF THE TANK that the worldwide communities of musicians and listeners, audiophiles and sound designers, sound artists and instrument makers, performers and philosophers, acousticians and urban explorers, architects and poets, media- makers and scientists, educators and dreamers, will contribute to the increasing potential of this pulsing place, and in the process shake hands with the existing community of Rangely, Colorado. A town, which has watched the sun rise and set over the tank for several generations. It is the agreement to commune in unique space and time that we hope will lead to innovative discoveries and collaborations, which can create a new global discourse about the way we hear. With future plans for residency programs, sound festivals, recording sessions, and community outreach, it is the hope that the TANK will become a center for sonic arts.
As our world becomes increasingly polluted with Apple ear-bud residue, 60 cycle hum, mechanical transportation by land, air, and sea, it is important to be reminded of ones own daily aural footprint. The TANK teaches a sense of sonic responsibility. A single forceful exhale in the TANK can continue to be heard for up to 40 seconds after its release. Nowhere else in the world can one be so immediately reminded of the reverberant space of our lives. A space for listening, a space for hearing, a space for learning. The TANK.