Chelpa Ferro is well known for squeezing a rhythmical sound from seemingly non-musical devices such as electric toothbrushes, drills, sewing machines, or juice makers, and using them in their installations and performances. At The Aldrich, the Acusma installation will fill the gallery with a sound resembling a group of people coming together to sing. However, the sound does not visually match the source, which turns out to be a series of beautiful Brazilian ceramic vases spread out on the gallery floor, with loudspeakers playing up to five different recorded voices inside each vessel.
Curator Mónica Ramírez-Montagut says, “In Chelpa Ferro’s work, the blend of high-tech equipment (speakers, cables, computers, and sophisticated computer programming) is integrated with traditional Brazilian crafts and domestic objects, providing a new and surprising visual representation of sound and conferring an aura of mystery upon these mundane objects.”
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Waveforms is an exhibition of interdisciplinary art works showcasing sound as the principle component. This exhibition explores, through an examination of creative and artistic practices, the interface of sound and new media technologies. The works in the exhibit include a number of trans-disciplinary interactions and collaborations that include sound in the context of visual and spatial artistic practices, including sound sculpture, installations, and performance works.
Featured artists include Carrie Bodle, Jacob C. Hammes, Norbert Herber/Rowland Ricketts, Tesia Kosmalski, Lou Mallozzi, Shannon McMullen/Fabian Winkler, Stephanie Rowden, and Jesse Seay. The list includes both emerging and established artists, primarily from the Midwest. Norbert Herber, artist and faculty member at Indiana University, will moderate the Symposium/discussion.
Because this exhibit is about the exchange of thought among a variety of disciplines, it will highlight the role that artistic practice and creative thinking have in our appropriation and understanding of technology, including practice and dialogue related to changes within both the natural and man-made environment. By comparing material practices in a variety of creative fields, new insights are gained into the way that artists and collaborators recognize the “new” and how the “new” becomes a building block for future discoveries.
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“Pulse Park” is comprised of a matrix of light beams that graze the central oval field of Madison Square Park. Their intensity is entirely modulated by a sensor that measures the heart rate of participants and the resulting effect is the visualization of vital signs, arguably our most symbolic biometric, in an urban scale.
In Pulse Park, evening visitors to Madison Square Park have their systolic and diastolic activity measured by a sensor sculpture installed at the North end of the Oval Lawn. These biometric rhythms are translated and projected as pulses of narrow-beam light that will move sequentially down rows of spotlights placed along the perimeter of the lawn as each consecutive participant makes contact with the sensor. The result is a poetic expression of our vital signs, transforming the public space into a fleeting architecture of light and movement.
Pulse Park is inspired by Roberto Gavaldóns film Macario (Mexico, 1960) in which the protagonist has a hunger-induced hallucination wherein individuals are represented by lit candles, as well as by the minimalist musical compositions of Conlon Nancarrow, Glenn Branca and Steve Riech. Pulse Park is the culmination of a series that Lozano-Hemmer debuted at the 2007 Venice Biennale with Pulse Room.
The concept sketch was printed in an edition of 12 copies.
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Tim Hawkinson is known for creating complex sculptural systems through surprisingly simple means. Inspiration for many of Hawkinson’s pieces has been the re-imagining of his own body and what it means to make a self-portrait of this new or fictionalized body. Sculptures are often re-purposed out of materials which then artist then mechanizes through hand-crafted electrical circuitry.
Tim Hawkinson is featured in the Season 2 episode “Time” of the Art21 series “Art:21 — Art in the Twenty-First Century”.
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Iraqi born Wafaa Bilal has become known for provocative interactive video installations. Many of Bilal’s projects over the past few years have addressed the dichotomy of the virtual vs. the real. He attempts to keep in mind the relationship of the viewer to the artwork, one of his main objectives being to transform the normally passive experience of viewing art into an active participation. In this, his latest effort, Domestic Tension, viewers can log onto the internet to contact or “shoot” Bilal with paintball guns. Bilal’s objective is to raise awareness of virtual war and privacy, or lack thereof, in the digital age. During the course of the exhibition, Bilal will confine himself to the gallery space. Over the duration, people will have 24-hour virtual access to the space via the Internet. They will have the ability to watch Bilal and interact with him through a live web-cam and chat room. Should they choose to do so, viewers will also have the option to shoot Bilal with a paintball gun, transforming the virtual experience into a very physical one. Bilal’s self imposed confinement is designed to raise awareness about the life of the Iraqi people and the home confinement they face due to the both the violent and the virtual war they face on a daily basis. This sensational approach to the war is meant to engage people who may not be willing to engage in political dialogue through conventional means. Domestic Tension will depict the suffering of war not through human displays of dramatic emotion, but rather through engaging people in the sort of playful interactive video game with which they are familiar.
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This installation done by Sam Van Aken in 2006 was essentially realized through the stacking and attaching of home stereo speakers. The speakers combined into a wall that played a random sampling of the quote “oh my God” which spanned an emotional spectrum from horror to sarcasm to sheer ecstasy. Through the use of a computer program designed by the artist and a seemingly infinite amount of speaker wire and extension cord, the quote was looped to individual speakers increasing one at a time until the entire wall screamed “oh my God” in a variety of tones and contexts at the same time. Remarkably, the range of human emotions the artist captured using only this singular quote was reflected through the viewers’ laughter, disgust, tears, etc.
Sam Van Aken is represented in New York by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts and Michael Klein Arts.
Sam Van Aken’s site
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The Cabinet of Curiousness is an antique wooden card catalogue with 20 drawers. Functioning as an interactive piece, the opening of each drawer activates a voice or piece of music from within the cabinet. The audience, assuming the role of a DJ, may experience the clarity of sound from one drawer or a cacophony of sounds from numerous drawers opened simultaneously as the cabinet is played like an instrument. A contrast emerges between the obsolete system of cataloguing single pieces of data and our current tendency to inundate ourselves with excessive information. An investigation of knowledge, time, and our relationship to objects and music.
Work by Janet Cardiff & George Miller
Materials: Unique oak card catalogue with speakers and audio
Dimensions: 52 X 17 1/2 X 27 inches (132.08 X 44.45 X 68.58 cm)
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How do we search for alien life if it’s nothing like the life that we know? At TEDxUIUC Christoph Adami shows how he uses his research into artificial life — self-replicating computer programs — to find a signature, a ‘biomarker,’ that is free of our preconceptions of what life is.
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Installation and Performance
Fabricating the interfaced machine.
Interview created and produced by Sue Costabile for Cycling ’74.
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