The guest of today’s edition of #A.I.L. (Artists in Laboratories) is Richard Pell, the founder and director of The Center for Postnatural History in Pittsburgh, the first museum that seeks to research, document and exhibit man-made biological systems. I interviewed him on the blog last year as he had just opened the museum and the radio show looks at how the center’s doing right now, its challenges, its projects, the spider silk-producing goats and the english bull terrier
The first episode of the radio show about art & science i’m recording for Resonance FM is broadcast today Monday 21 May at 16.30 (London time.) There will be a repeat on Thursday at 22.30. You can catch it online if you don’t live in London.
This week i’m talking with the lovely and lively Anna Dumitriu, visual artist and respected founder and director of The Institute of Unnecessary Research
On Friday at 4pm, set your radio to 104.4fm if you live in London and your browser to http://resonancefm.com/ if you don’t. That’s when the pilot for programme i’ve recently recorded for Resonance104.4fm, London’s edgy, radical, art radio is going to be aired. The focus of the programme is art & science/technology.
Critical designers Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen were kind and kamikaze enough to join me in the studio for the first episode. We’ve discussed topics as diverse as the beauty of life support machines, pigeons that poop soap, using design to infiltrate synthetic biology, collaborating with scientists and communicating the complexities of a projects that explores critically the impact of science on society
The exhibition focuses on the convergence of electronic sound creation and visual arts. Some works give a graphic, architectural and physical presence to sound, others reveal the sound produced by physical objects we’d otherwise regard as perfectly silent
It took me longer than most to discover the work of Anri Sala but once i looked into it, i started seeing his work everywhere. A few months ago, i was invited to the Absolut Art Award in Stockholm to see some of his videos, attend a screening with popcorn of 1395 Days without Red and interview the artist. A few weeks after, Anri Sala had a solo show at the Serpentine Gallery in London. The show is now closed. I’ve waited far too long to write about Anri Sala’s work
The exhibition is divided into 4 sections that sometimes intertwine and overlap. I’ve already explored the chapter about artists in the laboratory. Here’s my notes on the artists who leave the lab to explore nature and on those who are looking for alternative uses of existing technology
While worn, exposure to the noise is structured through a sequence designated by a composer which controls the behavior of the sound-prevention valves. The composer also determines what values are adjustable by the listener through the single knob built into the device. The headphones mechanically create a personal listening experience by composing noise from the listener’s environment, rendering it differently familiar
The Oramics Machine is a revolutionary music synthesiser that was created in the 1960s by Daphne Oram. Daphne had a strong passion for sound and electronics, and she created a visionary machine that could transform drawings into sound.
Long thought lost, the machine was recently recovered and added to the Science Museum’s collections in co-operation with Goldsmiths, University of London
If you happen to be in or around Sao Paulo this Summer don’t miss FILE, the Electronic Language International Festival that takes place at the FIESP Cultural Center and all over the Avenida Paulista till late August. And because FILE makes it its duty to attract the general public and not just the art&tech aficionados, the event is not only free but also packed with surprising installations, games, videos and events
This exhibition brings together 3 pioneers of sound art, Max Eastley, Takehisa Kosugi and Walter Marchetti. Each artist has developed a distinct approach to the problem of representing immateriality, while sharing a lightness of touch, approaching sound with patience, restraint and fidelity. As well as presenting new and historic work, the exhibition features live performance, and material from the artists’ archives
I had never heard of Laurent Montaron before last week. I was preparing a trip to Paris and going through the list of exhibitions open when i stumbled upon a small photo of a Catholic saint and, more interestingly, a press release that mentioned the artist’s interest in the history of media from the appearance of mechanical modes of representation in the late 19th century up to today’s different digital forms
The piece currently on view in Florence is directly inspired by early prototypes of sound weapons. As the artist explained: I found a series of very suggestive images of some real “sound armies” set up by the Japanese army during the Second World War. They were like guns pointing to the sky, conceived for shooting down planes by using particular airwaves. Unlike current acoustic weapons, which are real weapons, those first prototypes have never been activated. Those images fascinated me a lot. This work probably still recalls these suggestions. It is a structure that juts out a lot from the wall, overhanging and conveying a sort of dangerousness. It produces a deep guttural sound and can be “exhibited” in every sense, both from a spatial and a sound viewpoint
Jerram’s interest in perception takes many forms: a kinetic sound installation controlled by the movements of the Moon and Sun, a miracle toaster, an engagement ring etched with a sound message that can be played back with a miniature record player, street pianos left for the public to play, etc. His most spectacular exploration of perception is Sky Orchestra, a series of performances in which hot air balloons fly over a city at dawn and broadcast music designed to turn the dreams of the sleeping public into an artistic experience. There is a lot to like and write about in his portfolio but i’ll just focus on two of his most recent projects: Glass Microbiology and Aeolus – Acoustic Wind Pavilion
Inspired by China’s Golden Shield Project, this generative piece of music makes a free, creative use of a technology ideated to subtly constrain the freedom of the Internet as a global Network
The main exhibition of the FILE festival in Sao Paulo showcases some of the most exciting artistic productions in the field of electronic and digital arts. The sound installations were particularly good. So good that my little round-up features mostly sound pieces
Using their heartbeats, the musicians control a computer composition and visualization environment. The musical score is generated in real time by the heartbeats of the musicians. They read and play this score from a computer screen placed in front of them
The Nomadic Sound Systems is a wireless wearable sound system that frees electronic music from the restraints of immovable equipment, opening up possibilities for mobile performance and new forms of audience participation
Can airspaces be owned and activated by the public? What is the size of the airspace you can own? How can we employ wind farms in a way that disrupts conventional understandings of their use?
Ali Gadorki is the leader of Kumbia Queers, an all-ladies group which mixes influences from punk and Cumbia, a musical style and folk dance that is considered to be representative of Colombia. Now mixing these two is considered an heresy by most people in the punk and metal communities. It nevertheless works wonderfully
The sound exhibition ambitions to go beyond the auditory system and uses echoes, vibrations, timbres, resonances, waves to put the body of the visitor to the test
The term ‘hacking’ refers to the guerrilla-like nature of some actions on the internet and at the same time to equally clandestine ‘squatting’ in the physical public space
For Electrified02, the young artist decided to ‘hack’ the harbour of Ghent with a sound installation that turned twelve rusty, gigantic metal pipes stored there into didgeridoo-like sound cylinders
This is probably the best exhibition of sound art i’ve ever seen. Musik für Barbaren und Klassiker breaks the traditional boundaries between concerts, sound installations, sculpture and music. The exhibition creates as such a place where the dynamic of exchange between performance and spatiality
Wind knitting factory, washing machine in the park, CCTV chandelier, furniture covered in fungi, a Pavlov’s Dog system to train a man to be a caring father? It must be RCA again!
This project for a “genetically engineered sound garden” seeks to find new ways of imagining the nature of tomorrow where engineered species of plants, insects and animals interact within a composed ecosystem and create new forms of musical performance
Chip music is low-key. Its scene is relatively small, its sound is raw and lo-fi, but more importantly, its tools are outmoded goods of mass consumptions. This obsolescence of the media was at the heart of curator Quaranta’s reflections for the exhibition
Positioned all over a wall at HMKV, the network of “ghost detectors” read the “auras” of the audience. Rumour has it that the bodies or even the moods of visitors walking around the installation might affect the sonic output
Going beyond the phenomenon of number stations, the exhibition explores forms of art that elude any wistful desire for fixed interpretations, they include mathematical encoding, the production of aurora borealis, archiving contact lenses, seismic sensors, the disappearance of hanged men and mountain summits
Rather than answering questions–such as, How can technological advances be controlled? On what ethical bases can its purposes be chosen? Who is entitled to decide on the ultimate mission of machines? Can machines destroy us?–this installation, on the contrary, is about reformulating those modern philosophical questions through the use of images associated with the popular culture of science fiction
Given my notoriously campy taste in music, you will be relieved to know that i’m going to carefully avoid reviewing the music side of Barcelona’s International Festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Art. What’s left then? Fashion, a bit of advertising and the SonarMàtica exhibition
One week before the MFA Exhibition, here are a couple more works i discovered when i met the students of Department of Design | Media Arts at UCLA in Los Angeles
Broadcast explores the ways in which artists since the late 1960s have engaged, critiqued, and inserted themselves into official channels of broadcast television and radio. Hurry up! the show closes on May 2nd
One day, Daniel Eatock left his desk, found the car whose alarm had been interrupting his peace every five minutes, and waited for the siren to switch on. When the siren sounded, he started dancing like a madman. He made videos of several of his car alarm dances, never touching the car, only dancing to the sound pollutants
An uncanny installation currently on view at LABoral uses the strategies of the Electronic Voice Phenomenon, voice and pattern recognition, and face tracking to generate voices, and images from apparently closed, silent and empty spaces and systems
8 projects developed over 2 weeks in Mexico D.F. use hardware and software tools to create prototypes that explore the relations between machines and humour/laughter
A paper celebration of 5 fantastic editions of a workshop that gathers artists, academics, designers, industry representatives and academics who share their passion for the way ubiquitous computing is modifying the consumption, sharing and creation of music
My favourite art and tech festival for the creative exploration of urban public space has moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Was that really a good idea?
Johannes Gees’ action salat is a very relevant interaction in the xenophobic political climate in Switzerland
The International Symposium on Electronic Art takes place biannually in various cities throughout the world. This year, the main exhibition features 16 works developed specifically for ISEA2008 by international and local artists. Priscilla Bracks reports from Singapore
Some twenty music icons are brought together for the first time, not to give a concert but to present their visual works. This is not about a movement, but about artists who have all followed individual roads, approaching art and music with an undivided soul