Archive for the 'sound art' Category


Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu :: The Singing Ringing Tree

Click on image to watch the video

The Singing Ringing Tree is a wind powered sound sculpture resembling a tree set in the landscape of the Pennine mountain range overlooking Burnley, in Lancashire. Completed in 2006, it is part of the series of four sculptures within the Panopticons arts and regeneration project created by the East Lancashire Environmental Arts Network (ELEAN). The project was set up to erect a series of 21st-century landmarks, or Panopticons (structures providing a comprehensive view), across East Lancashire as symbols of the renaissance of the area.

Designed by architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu of Tonkin Liu, the Singing Ringing Tree is a 3 metre tall construction comprising pipes of galvanised steel which harness the energy of the wind to produce a slightly discordant and penetrating choral sound covering a range of several octaves. Some of the pipes are primarily structural and aesthetic elements, while others have been cut across their width enabling the sound. The harmonic and singing qualities of the tree were produced by tuning the pipes according to their length by adding holes to the underside of each.

In 2007, the sculpture won (along with 13 other candidates) the National Award of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for architectural excellence. (edit from Wikipedia)


daniel palacios :: waves

WAVES utilizes a basic construction of a long piece of elastic string and two motors to visualize the presence of people close to the installation. The string between the two motorized chambers reacts to the people presence and movements, it twirls to produce a sine-wave simulation that eloquently resembles both the digitization of real-time sound waves and patterns of flow and connectivity found in natural systems.

The simple act of making the ‘invisible’ visible can produce profound effects in both our understanding of the world around us and the close relationship we have to the natural and built environment that we occupy daily. Although the project may seem like a simple visualization of intangible forms, it nevertheless connects to our visceral side by creating unique sound output and striking visual stimuli that engage with persistence of vision and our connection to the spaces we occupy and their sonic and electromagnetic inhabitants.

More info: danielpalacios: relationships between art, science and technology applied to space and perception

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It is advisable to listen to this in the headphones.


carsten nicolai :: syn chron

photography ©sato sugar

Carsten Nicolai’s installation Syn chron is a symbiosis of light, sound and architecture. A large 14m wide and 4m high polyhedron is designed by analyzing the crystal, it is covered with a semi-transparent material, that has a special honeycomb structure to permeate through image projections. On the surface are fixed many small speakers, while particle-like images (on six white-laser projectors) synchronize and change with abstract electronic sounds programmed by Carsten Nicolai in collaboration with Nibo. Visitors could freely experience this work’s resonance while moving about inside and outside the installation. The impression of the space is constantly generated in the process of visual and acoustical perceptive symbiosis.

Carsten Nicolai: concept, composition
Finn Geipel & Giulia Andi, LIN: architecture
Werner Sobek: supporting structure
David Letellier: artistic and architectural assistance
JENOPTIK AG: laser sources
LaserAnimation SOLLINGER GmbH: laser technology, programming
ELAC Electroacustic GmbH: audio technology
Nibo: sound programming
Rob Feigel: technical production
Carsten Koppe, Knut Kruppa: production team


Craig Colorusso :: Sun Boxes

Sun Boxes is an experimentation with sound and solar energy. 20 boxes constructed with wood and equipped with solar panels, speakers, amplifiers and electronic sound modules were placed in the desert as part of the Off The Grid exhibition at the Goldwell Residency in Rhyolite Nevada in June 2009. Each box emitted a singular sound at a specific interval, the sound composition is generated when the sun rises and ends when the sun falls. Using solar power allows the composition to vary infinitely depending on the clouds, the amount of sun and the shadows of the spectator.


Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art :: Art by telephone(1969)

Art by Telephone:
33-1/3 RPM vinyl LP record housed in offset-printed black-and-white gatefold album cover
12 ¼ x 12 ¼ inches (closed), 12 ¼ x 24 ½ inches (open)
Published by Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago 1969

“Shortly after its opening, the Museum of Contemporary Art planned an exhibition to record the trend toward conceptualization of art. This exhibition, scheduled for the spring of 1968 and abandoned because of technical difficulties, consisted of works in different media, conceived by artists in this country and Europe and executed in Chicago on their behalf. The telephone was designated the most fitting means of communication in relaying instructions to those entrusted with fabrication of the artists’ projects or enactment of their ideas. To heighten the challenge of a wholly verbal exchange, drawings, blueprints or written descriptions were avoided.

“Art by Telephone” admits an historic precedent. In 1922 Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, then newly appointed to the Weimar Bauhaus, set out to prove to his students and fellow teachers alike that the intellectual approach to the creation of a work of art is in no way inferior to the emotional approach. Bucking the expressionist mainstream and steeping himself in the revolutionary ideas of the Russian Constructivists Malevich and Lissitzky, the new head of the metal workshop ordered from a sign manufacturer three steel panels of diminishing size covered with white porcelain enamel and bearing a simple geometric design in black, red and yellow. Rather than furnish sketches and personally supervise the execution, Moholy asked that the manufacturer take a piece of graph paper and a color chart. He then dictated these works over the telephone.

Despite the fact that Moholy-Nagy’s “telephone pictures” are widely discussed in art literature, no museum until now has been prompted by this historic act to test the potential of remote control creation on the sale of a group exhibition. Making the telephone ancillary to creation and employing it as a link between artist’s hand and material has never been attempted in any fashion.” – Jan van der Marck from the exhibition catalogue / LP jacket

On the LP the Museum’s director, Jan van der Marck, interviews by long-distance telephone artists: Siah Armajani, Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Iain Baxter, Mel Bochner, George Brecht, Jack Burnham, James Lee Byars, Robert H. Cumming, Francoise Dallegret, Jan Dibbets, John Giorno, Robert Grosvenor, Hans Haacke, Richard Hamilton, Dick Higgins, Davi Det Hompson, Robert Huot, Alani Jacquet, Ed Kienholz, Joseph Kosuth, Les Levine, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, Dennis Oppenheim, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Guenther Uecker, Stan Van Der Beek, Bernar Venet, Frank Lincoln Viner, Wolf Vostell, William Wegman and William T. Wiley. Each was discussing with van der Marck how to execute an artwork for inclusion in the show to be fabricated by in Chicago strictly by the artist’s verbal instructions.

While the 1969 curatorial effort was conceived as an economic means to produce a large-scale exhibition, many of the artists included within the show produced succinct conceptual works that were among the first such works to be presented in a museum.

“Conceptual art as documented, recorded, manufactured or preformed in “Art by Telephone” is a further step toward the syncretism of the literary, plastic and performing arts which characterizes the 1960s. The term generally applies to those new forms of art which seem to favor intellectual premises over visual result. Those artists who have responded to the challenge to this exhibition share certain basic premises despite divergence in expression. They want to get away form the interpretation of art as specific, handcrafted, precious object. They value process over product and experience over possession… “– Jan van der Marck from the exhibition catalogue / LP jacket


Tommaso Nervegna :: Iannis Xenakis, Notre Dame du Haut

Iannis Xenakis (Ιωάννης Ιάννης Ξενάκης) (May 29, 1922 – February 4, 2001) was a Greek modernist composer, musical theoretician and architect. He is regarded as an important and influential composer of the twentieth century. His music theory book Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition is regarded as a very important, if esoteric, work of 20th century music theory.

“By 1979, he had devised a computer system called UPIC, which could translate graphical images into musical results”, wrote Andrew Hugill in 2008. “Xenakis had originally trained as an architect, so some of his drawings, which he called ‘arborescences’, resembled both organic forms and architectural structures.” These drawings’ various curves and lines that could be interpreted by UPIC as real time instructions for the sound synthesis process. The drawing is, thus, rendered into a composition. Mycenae-Alpha was the first of these pieces he created using UPIC as it was being perfected. In 1982 Xenakis developed his Music Timbre and Cadence Scale which is used quantifying musical styles in modern music.

In conversation, Iannis Xenakis frequently distanced himself from being seen in too strict terms – like many other composers for whom method and structure were the easiest aspects of music to discuss verbally, he sees the role of such things as relative. One way to envisage this approach is that the method constitutes a thematic germ, a starting-point, and from there the normal musico-aesthetics, personal obsessions and practical considerations play their normal role in finishing and shaping the piece. Indeed from the 1970s onwards Xenakis’ use of this method became deeply assimilated into his general musical thinking and he reports in interviews from that time that the strict application of statistical processes was no longer necessary to produce the results he was looking for.

Xenakis appeared easily bored in interviews when people attempted to take an overly simplistic view of him as ‘complex’ – the various clichés surrounding him appeared to greatly annoy him in interview and he would frequently make recourse to the wider aesthetics of music in general and the other arts, in order to contextualise his contributions to music making. In a sense his early statements about “looking at music statistically” were a response to what he saw as the mistake of placing too much emphasis on the likely benefits of applying methodology too rigorously. It is also important to note, however, that this does not constitute any true dichotomy between Xenakis and his peers – the application of single-minded rigour to composition in post-war music was relative and momentary, and as with his own work, the poetic and aesthetic significance of the gesture as a modern equivalent to programme-music, as well as the vital role played by musicality and music-editing/shaping has been widely undervalued in favour of simplistic characterisations of such music as purely intellectual.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Official website: Iannis Xenakis


pure :: TERMINALBEACH, Heart Chamber Orchestra


zimoun :: Sound Sculptures & Installations

Selection of works from Swiss installation and sound artist Zimoun

Click photo to visit my website

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