In A Silent Way
Date: 28-Jul-2012 – 26-Aug-2012
Location: Contemporary Art Tasmania
EIGHT SOUND ARTISTS, SIXTEEN SPEAKERS, ONE GALLERY
Matt Warren is the 2012 CAST Curatorial Mentorship recipient.
Symposium: 2pm Saturday 28 July at CAST
We live in a noisy world. We all contribute to the noise. Some is intentional, some accidental, some unbeknownst. When creating an environment for a group, media-based art exhibition, it is no different. As these kinds of works invariably emit sound or light, (or both), there is often competition between the works for equal ‘billing’ in the space, just by virtue of their proximity to each other. This sound exhibition will allow works to have their own space, mood and individual elements and yet become part of a whole. It will contain soundscapes/field recordings/electro-acoustic material that is designed or is able to be played quietly. As a curator, I’m trying to counteract the ongoing issue of artists needing to compete for acoustic space.
But the premise is not simply based on technical problem solving. As a practicing artist and now thinking of this process as a curator, I am interested in the possibility of unusual random collaborations between artists, presenting an environment where the merging of individual sound works can occur, then dissipate. The unknown and potentially unique clustering of sound elements is an exciting prospect, wherein an audience member may hear a combination of sounds perhaps only once during the run of the show. Depending on where in the room one stands, the works may merge in unexpected ways and the sounds outside in the ‘real’ world can intrude and become part of the show. A structural and conceptual combination of John Cage and Brian Eno perhaps.
This exhibition utilises the ideas put forward by Brian Eno where amorphous or subliminal music and sound, deliberately placed, can contribute to the mood of a space, ‘ambient music’, rather than grabbing your attention. In addition to this, John Cage’s notion that complete silence is an impossibility and that the natural ambient sounds, (traffic outside, the air conditioner, the combination of the soundworks etc) can and do contribute to the content of a composition.