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Entries in exhibition (8)


Looking Forward: Sound during the Dutch Design Week

It’s already October, and that means the Dutch Design Week is almost upon us. During this nine-day event, the best of Dutch design is exhibited, and there are lots of workshops, seminars and parties to attend.
For a sound artist, the DDW used to be quite uninteresting. Last year, experience designers Arvid Jense and Marie Caye thought up Bizarre Sound Creatures: an exhibition space for sound art creations in the heart of the DDW.
This year, Bizarre Sound Creatures is back with another edition. Amongst the installations exhibited are the Dato Duo, the Pigstrument, but also other exciting interactive installations. See an impression of last year’s edition below:
Additionally, I am involved in organizing a small symposium on sound design for the everyday life, together with other institutions, which is being organized at the Bizarre Sound Creatures venue as well. We hope this will grow, and will become a larger symposium next year.
Next to Bizarre Sound Creatures, artist duo Strijbos & van Rijswijk is also curating a selection of interactive sound works that can be experienced at the DDW Music Lab. It’s safe to say that sound in design is becoming a hot topic. Now let’s just hope the boundaries between disciplines will blur, and different designers will work together towards a world where things not only look and feel better, but also sound more fitting.

Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More

Konrad Smoleński is an artist working in different fields, often collaborating with other artists and musicians. He works and lives in Warschau and Bern. His works are often big and sculptural, connected to sound or video.

His work “Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More”, is a sculptural instrument written for two bronze bells, two walls of loudspeakers and resonating objects, in this case resonating lockers. The composition links the rich symbolic sound of the clocks to the abstract sound of reverb and resonating noise. By using delay and other effects, Smoleński creates a world wherein history comes to a standstill.

This installation is one of many which can be seen at Orkest! a group exhibition featuring works by Rutger Zuydervelt, Julian Sartorius, Oliver Beer, Rubén D’hers, Michael Schmid, and Nicolas Field. Orkest! can be seen from the 7th of december 2014 until the 6th of march 2015 at the Netwerk / centre for Contemporary art in Aalst, Belgium. We’ll feature some other works from this exhibition in the coming weeks.


Pendulum Sound Machine

Pendulum Sound Machine is a sound installation created by Kouichi Okamoto as part of an exhibition curated by Designboom, called Yakitate, which is Japanese for ‘freshly baked’. This nice set of pendulums hanging over a record player should sound as good as it looks, but does it? 

It really is one of those cases in which the form is well thought out, but the function is neglected. A plate just doesn’t sound as well as a lot of other objects could. 

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The Transfinite

I have seen Ryoji Ikeda perform live once, and while his clean beeps and glitches might be best experienced on headphones (at least that’s my opinion), the combination with his video work synchronized to the sound definitely creates a kind of hypnotic experience. 

Ikeda was asked by the Park Avenue Armory, New York to expose his work in the huge Wade Thompson Drill Hall. So if you’re in the neighborhood, you can visit The Transfinite, and if you do, I would love to hear about the experience!

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Sound and Music in Museums

Last year at New Zealand’s Auckland Museum visitors could enjoy the exhibitions while listening to music inspired by the historic and artistic artifacts. They called it the Sonic Museum. I missed it, but I still think it is worth a mention, as it crosses the bridge between the whisper quiet environment of museums on one hand and sound and music on the other.  

Exhibiting sound art and installations as we see them a lot on Everyday Listening will create a completely different experience in a museum and should be handled with great care. I love the relative silence among a group of people as it feels like a way of paying respect to the works of art. That said, incorporating sound and music could change the way we perceive an exhibition and make it a more personal experience. 

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Was: More Washing Machines

Honestly, I was not planning on having a washing machine theme this week, but after The Drying Green I stumbled upon another piece of sound art which has to do with wet clothes and the sound of washing machines, and this time it is simply called Was.

In the installation, created by Wessel Westerveld and Lydia van de Streek, water keeps on dripping from the wet clothes onto the water on the floor, creating a concert of dripping sounds. The washing machine kicks in now and then, creating a low rumbling sound, and the installation keeps the clothes wet at all times.

I am sorry that I do not have a video of the installation to show you, but on Wessel Westerveld’s website you can read more about his work and watch a few videos of his installations. Happy washing!


Sound in Context: Exhibiting Sound Art

When an architect designs a building, or a gallery space gets prepared to exhibit works of art, is the role of sound taken into consideration? What if the art in the exhibition consists of sound installations as opposed to visual arts? In Sound in Context, a short documentary by the Sound and Music organisation, the role of sound within the visual arts world is explored. 

People like David Toop, Richard Whitelaw and Benedict Drew, among others, discuss the invisible nature of this time-based medium we are dealing with here, and how many curators and art experts are not used to it. Another subject they cover is the value of sound art. Can it be sold? In what way? Should an artist give away CDs with recordings of sound installations? A very interesting subject which makes Sound in Context an interesting documentary to watch, apart from the soporific way some of these sound artist tell their story (they are probably not used to be recorded in a visual way).    


Akousmaflore: sensitive musical plants

One of the projects presented at the Futuresonic festival this week is Akousmaflore by Scenocosme from France. Akousmaflore is a small garden consisting of plants hanging from the ceiling. By touching the plants, or coming very close to them you cause them to produce sound. It’s like an interactive garden.

The sounds come from speakers placed around the room, so it’s not like each plant has its own speaker. This makes the plants like a musical interface rather than an instrument themselves. One of the aims of the project is to bridge the gap between nature and technology. It certainly creates a beautiful image, as you can see in this video: