Curated by Barbara London
Seeing Sound is an expansive exhibition that explores the recent trajectory of sound as a dynamic branch of contemporary art practice, curated by one of the most influential curators of new media art, the founder of the Video-media Exhibition & Collection Programs at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.
Developed with Nokia Bell Labs Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), which pioneered some of the technologies used in the exhibition, Seeing Sound features sonic installations by eight artists based in New York, London, Bogotá, Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
The artists in the exhibition create environmental experiences, using sound as a sensorial and pliant material that enchants as an intangible, but integral component of art and daily life. They incorporate this fluid medium into their distinctive practices, and work across disciplines to move between music and composition, video and performance, sculpture and installation. Through their integration and interrogation of sound, they challenge ideas about what art in a perpetual state of flux may be.
Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s installation Requiem for 114 Radios, and Samson Young’s video Muted Lion Dance are revelatory interpretations of sound. Both of the works reimagine musical productions, breaking apart the sonic experience of performances and then rebuilding the score to better demonstrate the effort and individuality within musical compositions. Bani Haykal and Aura Satz seek to present multiple interpretations of language through their interactive artworks made of everyday technologies (e.g. the telephone and computer).
Through familiar interfaces, the artists imaginatively translate and redefine words, sounds, and music.
Seth Cluett’s video installation the stratified character of nature and Juan Cortés’s interactive installation Supralunar, use sound to probe magical impressions of the Universe and transport viewers to specific places, while Yuko Mohri and Marina Rosenfeld use sound to create visual ecosystems to situate their mixed-media sculptures. Mohri’s You Locked Me Up in a Grave, You Owe Me at Least the Peace of a Grave, includes rotating speakers that create an environment where visitors can interact with visual and audible manifestations of often invisible systems, and in Rosenfeld’s Music Stands, the viewer is situated among three sculptures that resemble music stands emitting unpredictable tones that echo and amplify through the space.
The exhibition is the culmination of years of research by Barbara London, a pioneer in the field of video and new media, who now teaches in the Sound Art Department, Columbia University. It was developed with support from Nokia Bell Labs E.A.T., giving access to the latest in sonic technology and providing venues with experimental advances for the presentation of sound works.
Artists: Seth Cluett, Juan Cortés, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, Bani Haykal, Yuko Mohri, Marina Rosenfeld, Aura Satz, and Samson Young
Seeing Sound is a traveling exhibition curated by Barbara London, with the support of Research Assistant Kristen Clevenson and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI). This exhibition and tour are supported, in part, by Nokia Bell Labs Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) program and with the generous support of ICI’s Board of Trustees and International Forum.
Nokia Bell Labs is the world-renowned industrial research arm of Nokia. Over its more than 90-year history, Bell Labs has invented many of the foundational technologies that underpin information and communications networks and all digital devices and systems. This research has resulted in 9 Nobel Prizes, three Turing Awards, three Japan Prizes, a plethora of National Medals of Science and Engineering, as well as an Oscar, two Grammy awards and an Emmy award for technical innovation. For more information, visit www.bell-labs.com