Alberto is an Italian audio/electronic installation artist. He creates various autonomous sonic machines and installations that at some point undergo a climactic state. "I’m interested in creating a physical experience without implicating a physical contact,” he says. “What I want is to make something epidermic that borders visual and auditory sensations, becoming nearly tactile.” Alberto also uses aspects of sound like echo and resonance in his work. He says he wants people to “bring along the residue of what they saw, heard, and felt” after they experience his art.
EPROMs (Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) is an installation consisting of wiring, transformers and electric motors which drive music boxes. Like the limited use memory chips that inspired it’s name, the art piece eventually wears out and changes over time, starting out as a “fairy-like” soundscape and eventually disintegrating into a cacophony of worn out mechanics.
“The record is interesting as an object, because it can be a sculpture and it also contains this potential for sound. There are so many sounds you can create with a record: speed it up, slow it down, mix it with live instruments, play not only what’s in the groove but any sound that you can get out of it.” - Christian Marclay, born today in 1955.
This week we meet with English artist Oliver Blank who explores our sense of time and place through public installations. And this time we make an artwork together. Call (718)395-7556 to participate!
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Call (718) 395-7556
2. Leave a message saying what you would say to the one that got away
3. Tell us you’ve called (using #theartassignment and your social media platform of choice) and prompt someone to do the same.
4. Your voice may be featured in a sound piece composed by Oliver Blank
Many thanks to Cummins Cummins Inc. for their use of The Irwin Conference Center in Columbus, Indiana, as well as Richard McCoy and the fine folks at We Are City: Michael Kaufmann, John Beeler, and Laura Holzman, for making this episode possible.
Inspired by the societal influences volcanoes have on our lives, artist Joanie Lemercier created two projects “EYJAFJALLAJÖKULL” (2010) and “FUJI” (2014) using a combination of simple and complex audiovisual elements, playing with our depth of field and perception of the installation environment.
In both installations, the artist hand draws the wire-frame scenery to a wall, mimicking the topography of the respective volcanic landscapes. Stereoscopy and shading are used as the key elements which manipulate the audience’s perception of the image before them. The shadows created by the light projections give the illusion of depth within the ridges and points, even distance between mountains, aided by the fluid grid-lines and computer software. The artist himself describes this process as “modifying the perception of things…it is almost like modifying reality”. Lemercier “[plays] around with visual perception [to] trick the senses using optical illusions”, allowing the naturally flat surface and image to take on a three-dimensional forms.
Both examples of audiovisual mapping stem from events that have shaped certain societies, in small and large ways respectively; “EYJAFJALLAJÖKULL” was created in response to the eruption of the volcano in Iceland in 2010, which restricted travel in almost all of Europe. “FUJI” continues the artists’ exploration of volcanoes, this time Fujiyama in Japan, by incorporating elements of the legend of Kaguya Hime; a 10th-century folk-tale which the artist claims is “a key element in Japanese culture”.
Where the first installation focused on optical illusion and manipulation of audiovisual perception only, “FUJI” does the same, but with the added bonus of narrative. The projection becomes both optical illusion and poetry within its immersive environment.
“Soundings: A Contemporary Score” Luke Fowler, Toshiya Tsunoda, Marco Fusinato, Richard Garet, Florian Hecker, Christine Sun Kim, Jacob Kirkegaard, Haroon Mirza, Carsten Nicolai, Camille Norment, Tristan Perich, Susan Philipsz, Sergei Tcherepnin, Hong-Kai Wang, Jana Winderen, and Stephen Vitiello
MoMA’s first major exhibition of sound art presents work by 16 of the most innovative contemporary artists working with sound. While these artists approach sound from a variety of disciplinary angles—the visual arts, architecture, performance, computer programming, and music—they share an interest in working with, rather than against or independent of, material realities and environments. These artistic responses range from architectural interventions, to visualizations of otherwise inaudible sound, to an exploration of how sound ricochets within a gallery, to a range of field recordings—including echolocating bats, abandoned buildings in Chernobyl, 59 bells in New York City, and a sugar factory in Taiwan. - thru Nov 3
pictured: Richard Garet’s “Before Me” and Sergei Tcherepnin’s “Motor Matter Bench”
David Tudor’s chirping, clicking, ringing installation Rainforest V (Variation 1) is comprised of 40 objects chosen for their distinct auditory properties. Read the story behind this immersive new addition to our collection.
[David Tudor and Composers Inside Electronics. Rainforest V (Variation 1). 1973–2015. Sound installation of 20 objects, dimensions variable. Installation view, Broadway 1602. Courtesy Broadway 1602, New York]
Peter Cusack is a field recordist, musician and researcher who has traveled to areas of major environmental devastation, nuclear sites, big landfill dumps, edges of military zones and other potentially dangerous places. He has been to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone; the Caspian Oil Fields in Azerbaijan; ‘London Gateway’ the new port on the River Thames where massive dredging severely damages the underwater environment; the Aral Sea, Kazakhstan, which is now being partially restored after virtually disappearing due to catastrophic water misuse.
While most of these locations have been extensively discussed in articles and documented in images, we don’t know what a day in any of these places sounds like. With his field recordings, however, Cusack gives us an idea of what a radiometer with a cuckoo in the background in Pripyat sounds like. Or what it is like to hear the wind whistling by the Sizewell nuclear power stations. These recording belong to a practice that the artist calls sonic journalism. The discipline is an audio complement and companion to images and language. Using field recordings and careful listening, sonic journalism provides valuable insights into the atmosphere of a particular site.