Following up yesterday’s entry on Susan Philipsz, another recommended entry from the Tate Museum’s extraordinary podcast series: Ai Weiwei is by no means categorized as a sound artist, but he is a protean figure in contemporary art, and sound is neither an inconsequential nor an infrequent aspect of his creative work. In the past on this site, I’ve noted the soundscape aspect of his video work “Beijing: Chang’an Boulevard” (2004). And here in an extended conversation dating from last October, Weiwei engages an interview with Katie Hill, starting off with the famous piece involving 100 million handcrafted ceramic sunflower seeds in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall (MP3).
The podcast appears to have been recorded before visitors to the Tate site were cordoned off from the installation due to health concerns. The sound of footsteps in those seeds had been noted in reviews and other coverage of the exhibit. And once the exhibit was closed off from public interaction, its silence became an unintended yet intrinsic part.
More on the podcast at tate.org.uk.