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

Listening Louder Than Purple (MP3s of Olafur Eliasson)

Probably no artifact has stood as strongly for the touring Olafur Eliasson art exhibit Take Your Time as have photos of the purple refractions of his “One-way Color Tunnel” (2007). The tunnel, a narrow shoot of glass the color of a refined kaleidoscope, provides a physical entry point into his richly visual world. Much of Eliasson’s work involves such immersion, and it’s to sound innovator John Kannenberg‘s credit that he thought to focus in the audio dimension.

In a recent post at his johnkannenberg.com/synesthetech blog, the third in a series of field recordings taken surreptitiously around Chicago, Kannenberg provided MP3s recorded in two Take Your Time settings. There is the “fine mist,” as he puts it, of “Beauty” (1993), heard here as an almost impossibly luxurious spray (MP3), and the imposing threat of “Ventilator” (1997), in which an over-sized fan swings overhead like a chaotically threatening guillotine (MP3).

[audio:http://www.johnkannenberg.com/sound/fieldrecordings/may2009-EliassonBeauty.mp3|titles=”Velcro Beauty”|artists=John Kannenberg taping Olafur Eliasson] [audio:http://www.johnkannenberg.com/sound/fieldrecordings/may2009-EliassonVentilator.mp3|titles=”Ventilator”|artists=John Kannenberg taping Olafur Eliasson]

More on the Eliasson exhibit at the websites mcachicago.org, where Kannenberg saw it recently, and sfmoma.org, where I did, back in late 2007.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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