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Open Sound 2018

Experience multimedia art that connects with the land and art generated by machines.

For Tahltan artist Peter Morin and Quebec artists Marie Côté and Ziya Tabassian, drums are essential instruments in building connections with environment, territory, and history. Drums are made to be held, to connect with the body. Hands move and manipulate the materials to make worlds. Drums are heartbeats from which songs are born. The art installation Land Songs, Water Songs / Chants de terre, Chants d'eau built on Morin and Côté’s residency at Surrey Art Gallery in the fall of 2017.

For the new work, the two artists collaborated with musician and internationally celebrated tombak (Iranian drum) player Ziya Tabassian to consider the sonic system of the drum, the materiality and territoriality of the land, and bodies of water. As part of her residency component in the lead up to the exhibition, Côté went to see local South of Fraser clay deposit sites and sourced clay for the collaboration with Morin and Tabassian with the assistance and support from local First Nations artists. The abstract pours of liquefied clay (known as slip) on the Gallery walls were generated by Côté in response to the drinking water crisis faced by many Indigenous reserves across Canada, including the Semiahmoo Nation.

The resulting multimedia installation symbolically encapsulated the ways that drums, land, and water can become interfaces for culture, language, and storytelling. As part of their activation of the installation, Morin and Tabassian faced-off against each other with alternating drumming and the exchange of gambling sticks (both the drums and the sticks had been made collaboratively by both Morin and Côté). For Morin, his performance with Tabassian considered different “sonic systems and how they are able to talk to each other.”

Sound Thinking 2018

Turn up the Sound Systems! Generative Sound Art Today

With advances in computer technology, artists and composers program more complex self-generating musical structures. They use algorithms (which are no more than instruction lists for computers) to produce new music and sound forms. In doing so, they delegate some of their authority to machines.

The 2018 Sound Thinking Symposium gathers six artists whose practices take advantage of the generative potential of machines. Among the questions addressed are: What is at stake for art and culture with the increase of computer-driven sound practices?

The symposium includes presentations, discussions, and live performances that focus on generative music. Generative music refers to music that is always changing and created by systems.

Participants: Kiran Bhumber & Nancy Lee, Arne Eigenfeldt, Amber Frid-Jimenez, Norah Lorway, George Rahi

Convener: Philippe Pasquier

View the program and participant bios

Image credit: Installation image of Land Songs, Water Songs at Surrey Art Gallery. Photos by SITE Photography.