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Open Sound 2008

A series of audio art projects around the Surrey Arts Centre kicked off the first exhibition.

Visitors could walk about the space and pick up the broadcast of these transmitted artworks using headphones, both inside and outside of the building, as well as look at the machines that created, or listened to, sound.

In the piece Stops Starting (C0.05) hanging over the Surrey Arts centre elevator, artist David Grove built three tape loops each with recordings of continuous 130Hz, 135Hz, and 140Hz sine waves. The ambient light in the room controls the motion and speed of these loops. As each loop is slightly “out of phase” from each other oscillations occur at random intervals. All these factors combined create sounds that are ever changing.

I Am Listening by Brady Marks is an audio-responsive interactive listening machine. Hanging from each strand is a microphone and 8 white LED lights. When the microphone is stimulated by sound, the LED light animates upward in response. Louder sounds make the animation go faster. When the top LED is lit and more sound is detected, the light jumps back to the bottom and the cycle continues.

Eric Powell wants listeners to be open to sensation and allow their minds to wander wherever that may take them. His work Floating on Clouds like Gelatin requires no contextualization, no immediate cognition. Powell encourages listeners think of the indirect nature of time when experiencing his piece. Powell says, "Floating on Clouds like Gelatin exists in this non-linear temporal plane with overlapping sound fields extending, twisting, and undulating within and without their accompanying fields far into the linear past and future.”

Jean Routhier's composition The Ethereal Interference was originally commissioned by the Vancouver New Music Society and created for radio broadcast during a soundwalk on a nursery farm in the town of Sechelt, British Columbia. As the artist led listeners on the walk, he carried a radio transmitter. As the group approached radio receivers hidden along the path, they would hear the broadcast. When they moved out of range, this sound would fade until they entered the broadcast range of the next site. At the Surrey Arts Centre, the sound composition can be experienced from a distance as it blends with the surrounding soundscape, or it can become the focus of the listening.

Read more about these four projects in the exhibition brochure.

Artists:
David Grove
Brady Marks
Eric Powell
Jean Routier

Sound Thinking 2008
Conversations on Audio Art

The "art of noise" has come a long way from its avant-garde roots in the 20th century. Current sonic art encompasses a wide array of practices, from unaltered field recordings to re-edited pop songs, from installations in art galleries (like Janet Cardiff's Forty-Part Motet) to radio specific broadcasts, and from film soundtracks to live performances.This inaugural Sound Thinking symposium invites you into entertaining and educational exchanges with practicing artists who will share reflections on these different perspectives.

Participants: Giorgio Magnanensi (keynote), Trevor Chan, Sean Horton, Kenneth Newby, Philippe Pasquier, Tina Pearson, Hildegard Westerkamp

Conveners: Jean Routhier & Joshua Brandy

View the program and participant bios.

Image credit: Visitors to the Surrey Arts Centre listen to Eric Powell's Floating on Clouds like Gelatin.