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Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Tangents / Sound Art (Badger, Nicolai, Rubin …)

Quick Notes from the World of Sound Art: (1) I missed the piece “Harmonic Field,” by Christopher Badger, which had been on display at the gallery Silverman in San Francisco — it was part of an exhibit, titled Double Resonator, that also included work by Robert Smithson and La Monte Young (images in the archives at silverman-gallery.com). … (2) That gallery currently has work up by Desiree Holman with Lynda Benglis and Joan Jonas, under the collective title TV Honey, through November 10; the excellent three-channel video installation by Holman, “The Magic Window” (a riff on sitcom families), includes music by Soft Pink Truth (aka Drew Daniel from Matmos). Jonas, of course, studied with Alvin Lucier . … (3) There’s also a Jonas exhibit — The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things — up over at the Berkeley Art Museum through July 31, 2008 (bampfa.berkeley.edu). … (4) And also over at BAM/PFA, the exhibit rip.mix.burn.bam.pfa opened on October 24; it runs through March 2, 2008 (bampfa.berkeley.edu). … (5) It was a week for missing things — I wandered into the Michelle O’Connor Gallery on Mission Street in San Francisco just as Eric Ryan‘s “Denial and Repression” (headphones, canvas, rubber mats, rocks and audio) was being dismantled, so I didn’t get a chance to check it out. …

(6) The Feature Inc. Gallery in Manhattan currently has featured the Gentle Wind Project/Family Systems Research, a collection of tools developed for healing by the controversial organization that lends its name to the exhibit; among them is a piece, “Puck-Puck” (2001), made of three tuning forks (featureinc.com). … (7) The show by Carsten Nicolai (aka Alva Noto), static balance, runs through November 3 at PaceWildenstein in Manhattan (pacewildenstein.com, alvanoto.com); the gallery website is hosting one video from the show, “fades” (2006). The exhibit was reviewed by the New York Times: “The experience is enhanced, though not greatly, by white noise coming from speakers” (nytimes.com). …

(8) Excellent scene report by Ben Sisario last week in the New York Times on China’s emerging avant-gardge music activity, focused on FM3 (of Buddha Machine fame), Wang Fan, Sulumi, Yan Jun, Sun Wei, Dou Wei and others (nytimes.com). … (9) The Times doesn’t just cover sound art — it funds it; the paper’s new building in Manhattan has a permanent installation by Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen, creators of the “Listening Post,” which has been covered on Disquiet.com previously. This new piece, titled “Moveable Type,” draws data not from the Internet as a whole, but from the New York Times’s own online presence. Sonic component? “[F]rom hundreds of small hidden speakers, issuing the din of typewriters, the lost music of newsrooms” (nytimes.com). …

(10) Images from the Brooklyn opening of Selling the Sound of My Voice, a collaborative exhibit between visual artist Brice Brown and composer Alan Shockley: “The exhibition centers on a large wall-mounted piece consisting of 88 twelve-inch square aluminum panels, and a looped 30-minute electro-acoustic score” (vertexlist.blogspot.com; artcal.net, princeton.edu). … (11) Advance notice: Tuned City: Architecture and Sound is the name of a conference, exhibition and performance series to be hosted in Berlin in June/July 2008 (garage.in-mv.de).

By Marc Weidenbaum

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