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Open Sound 2009

Four artworks explore the concept of "open source" as it relates to sounds in our environments.

We're surrounded by sound, whether we're aware of it or not. Two of the works in this exhibition series playfully exhibit visual soundworks derived from outmoded technologies. The other two react to the hidden mechanical sounds found within the Surrey Arts Centre.

In Untitled by Frederick C. Brummer, a rotating piano hammer creates different sounds as it passes over a series of objects–a spring, guitar fretboard, 7” vinyl single, etc. The effect is something like a simplified record player, with the major difference being that the user can control the sound produced by the work.

Pop Music by Lee Hutzulak is a four-channel, site specific sound installation, drawing attention to and playing off of existing sounds to subtly alter the experience of buying a drink from a beverage vending machine. To the unsuspecting the piece will be invisible, perhaps even inaudible. The discreet placement of speakers behind the two dispensers are, at times, barely heard apart from the compressors in the back of the machine and ambient noise already present in the space. Loaded on two audio playback devices, the over 4 hours and 100 tracks of audio (including silences) that comprise Pop Music hum, rattle, drip and fizz along with the machines in a continuously shuffling loop.

The Electrical Room by Ian Gregory James is composed entirely of recordings from the electrical room in the basement of the Surrey Arts Centre. The work, which is fifteen minutes in length but is designed to be played in a continuous cycle, focuses on a few slow changes and subtle progressions that encourage attentive listening throughout its duration. It embraces and emphasizes the idea that sounds can be interesting on their own without having a specific meaning or greater context.

teatro dell’udito V is part of a series of projects in which Giorgio Magnanensi experiments with sound ideas of gesture and figure. The gestures are basic waveforms produced by various kinds of sound waves. He uses sine waves, sawtooth waves, square waves, triangular waves, and feedback in various combinations and modulations. The figures are composed of groupings of basic electronic waveforms as displayed on a cathode ray oscilloscope.

Read more about these four projects in the exhibition brochure.

Artists:
Frederick C. Brummer
Lee Hutzulak
Ian Gregory James
Giorgio Magnanensi

Sound Thinking 2009
Conversations on Radiophonic Space, the Nature of Hearing & New Approaches to Transmission in Sound Art

How have new developments in digital radio technology shifted our notion of radio communication today? How has radio art adapted and transformed in light of this restructuring of sound at the beginning of the 21st century? Sound Thinking 2009 is a symposium that sets out to address new developments in radiophonic space, the nature of hearing, and the making and transmitting of sounds. The symposium seeks to re-examine the history of audio art in light of these recent events and changes to technologies of distribution and broadcast within the fields of art and communication. Bringing together specialists in audio art, communications, and the science and technology of sound and listening, this event provides an opportunity to debate the new conditions under which radio is experienced today.

Participants: Heidi Grundmann (keynote), Anna Friz, David Jaeger, Allison Miller, John Wynne

Convener: Jean Routhier

View the program and participant bios.

Image credit: Lee Hutzulak stands beside his sound installation Pop Music in the Surrey Arts Centre.