Sound Art

Sound Art

Sound art is a complicated media arts medium as the fluidity of sound is not designed for the traditional gallery space. Sound art has the ability to interfere with other artworks, yet its immersive experience has the capability to create multiple interesting works. The accessibility to speakers and headphones has caused an increase in works which involve sound or are predominantly ‘sound works’. Writer Kelly argues “In recent years there have been numerous sound-based exhibitions and artists who actively incorporate sound in their works are in high demand”[1] Sound Artist Marco Fusinato’s ‘Constellations’ (2015),  where audience members were invited to strike a wooden bat chained to the floor of the gallery against a 46 meter long, microphone infused wall. From this action, the speakers produced a roaring sound which echoed through ought the gallery space. The sound produced by the visitors’ action “amplified at 120 decibels, generating a noise equivalent to the sound of thunder.”[2] In this experimental work, the wall of the gallery being stuck becomes an object of sound as well as being an object itself. The interference between the bat and the wall transforms the function of the objects into a sound producing experience by the act of active participation. The action of the participant (this being the force behind how hard the wall is struck) requires an act in where sound is the initial outcome; this implies the source of the sound has been carried out by an object. By involving speakers through the walls of the gallery space, Fusinato creates a work which involves monstrous sound through technologies such as speakers and microphones. Composer Steve Reich created the work ‘Pendulum Music’ 1968. This pure process music work involved the artists dropping microphones over speakers causing loud feedback. This work is ‘process art’ as once the microphones are dropped the work is able to take control of itself as the swinging continues once the person has let go. Cleverly the artist’s incorporation of sound art involves feedback, something us as audience members are used to covering our ears when heard. Another fascinating work which involves sound art and the destruction of sound equipment is performer Masonna in the work ‘God of Noise’. The artist takes the intensity of an entire rock concert and tries to contain it into a matter of seconds. Masonna plays briefly and is often injured during his works by an intense extreme piece of shouting and playing instruments into a short, very powerful and concentrated performance.

 

Image result for Marco Fusinato 'Constellations' (2015)

Marco Fusinato ‘Constellations’ (2015)

 

Image result for pendulum music

Steve Reich ‘Pendulum Music’ (1968)

 

Image result for masonna god of noise

Masonna ‘God of Noise’ (date unknown)

[1] Kelly, C. (2012). Sound in the Visual Arts

[2] Lim, G. (2015, July 13). Marco Fusinato: Constellations. Retrieved from Events, https://www.citynomads.com/marco-fusinato-constellations/

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