IN, OF, FROM: EXPERIMENTS IN SOUND
View of the installation design
In, Of, From: Experiments in Sound
University Gallery, UF
September 10, 2020 – December 5, 2020
In, Of, From: Experiments in Sound is an exhibition that explores new ways of understanding the relationship between art and new media. University Galleries was granted the funds for this exhibition by Creative B, a program funded 10 years ago to consolidate the collective resources and talents of the many creative activities at University of Florida, which is focused this year in the relation between art & technology.
This is exhibition will focus in a group of contemporary artists that have been experimenting with sound in their work and is being organized in collaboration with artists Cecilia López and Jules Gimbrone. The exhibition intends to response to the invitation to explore the relationship between art and technology by understanding how important is to bring critical views to this relationship in our current cultural context saturated with the presence and abuse of technology.
The artists included in the exhibition go beyond the celebratory response that generates a simplistic reaction to the possibilities of collaboration and integration of the arts with other disciplines. Instead of the quest for virtuosity and illusionism that pervades non-critical approaches we have found that the most interesting artists experimenting with sound today bring a different and more complex experience to the art context and demand a more engage viewer.
Most of the works in the exhibition creates a tension with and question accepted forms of understanding art practices. This kind of works require to rethink the specifics temporalities and spatiality of exhibition making and open up a discussion that we consider significant to create new dialogues in the academic context and beyond.
The exhibition will be divided in three different forms of presentations: the main installations (Stages), referential works by historic artists (Documents) and related artists’ interventions (Walls). The main installations will be presented by Cecilia López, Jules Gimbrone and Nikita Gale. For Cecilia López one of the more interesting and unique characteristics of this type of artistic practice engaged in sound experiments is to explore the material, almost sculptural qualities of sound pieces as in the case with a generation of artists that has been working for the last twenty years. The idea of giving a sound piece a certain degree of autonomy speaks both of its complex relations to the art system standard forms of valorization and to a different understanding of the conditions of receivership.
The title In, Of, From: Experiments in Sound is a reference to the exhibition Inside the Visible: An Elliptical Traverse of Twentieth Century Art in, of, and from the Feminine curated by Cathy de Zegher in which she argues for on the feminine as subject in constant flux in the same way we understand the artists experiment with sound as engaging in a practice that implies to question the fixed identities associated with art. As de Zegher wrote in her catalogue essay for the exhibition, her curatorial “working method allows gender to be considered not as constituted coherently in different historical contexts but as intersected by racial, class, ethnic, sexual, and regional modalities of discursively constituted identities,” and understanding of how to approach difference and multiplicity that has become increasingly pertinent in our times. For us, concomitantly, to engage in an exhibition where the works deal with sound is to work with a matter in constant flux. The subtitle, Experiments in Sound refers to the legendary collective Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) a funded in 1967 by engineers Billy Klüver and Fred Waldhauer and artists Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Whitman, that also produced the mythical series of performances known as 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering in 1966.
Works in the Exhibition
Cecilia López / Fanfarria (TBC)
Cecilia Lopez is a composer, musician and multimedia artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her work explores perception and transmission processes focusing on the relationship between sound technologies and listening practices. She works across the media of performance, sound, installation, sculpture and the creation of sound devices. She holds an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College and an MA from Wesleyan University in composition.
Title: RED (d), 2020
Speaker cable, speaker cones, piezoelectric microphones, drums.
Dimensions 36W x 36W x 80H
RED, in its different iterations, is a piece that investigates interactions with unstable acoustic feedback systems. It is simultaneously a sculpture and a sonic process. The piece consists on a speaker-wire weaved net that contains drums and snare drums and functions as a complex sound producing feedback organism. The cables that make up the net are connected to speakers and contact microphones turning its structure into a instrument that resonates with the bodies of the drums.
Being physically hung from the ceiling, it attracts the audience’s attention as a living and autonomous object, around which there is no neutral point of listening. The audience is invited to be part of the space, where they both affect and are affected by the sound phenomena. Sound is modulated by “presence” and occupies the space as acoustic architecture.
Curricular engagements Fanfarria: art and sounds, acoustic architecture spectatorship, affect, gender studies, representation, institutional critique, body-space relationships.
Jules Gimbrone / TRAPS and TRANSMUTATIONS
Jules Gimbrone (b. 1982 Pittsburgh; lives and works in NYC) creates fragile corporeal sound and sculptural ensembles that highlight the differentiations between modes of perceptual acquisition—specifically visual and sonic—within complex and precarious arrangements of subjects and objects.
Traps and Transmutations, 2 is a cosmology of vibrating actants and actors composed on a resonating stage. The traps come in the appearance of static forms, recording mechanisms and quantifiable technologies. The transmutations are all of the forces pushing away from, cutting, degrading and liberating these forms. Sound as a form of energy transfer, literally pushes through the forms: knives, cast soap, water balls, microphones cast in resin, and a desiccated banana are all cast into vibratory ecstasy through a composition of audio included the artist’s breath blowing up a balloon, the recording of the motor of a fan, and a series of feedback exercises with the stage. The most explicit symbol of the body, a 5 ft resonating glass vessel is filled with salt water and other organic detritus is animated by the artist’s voice chanting the phrase “concave, convex” as a sort of transubstantiatiatory ritual.
At what point is a vibrating sack of molecules legible as an object? What makes it so and what are the forces that act upon it to assist or degrade this legibility? Is the convex curve of a hip enough to signify a gender? At what point does that curve become a symbol? Can we chart the precise moment of categorization? What are the possibilities if we can’t?
Curricular engagements TRAPS and TRANSMUTATIONS: art and sounds, transgression, gender + LGBTQI studies, representation, institutional critique, body-space relationships.