“There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot” (Cage 1957).
The Beyond the Silence exhibition brings together a series of works of art which build their discourse around the concept of sound, but go beyond its limiting understanding as a self-sufficient means of expression. Correlated to visual language, to new media or to forms of conceptualist art, the auditory expression aims at highlighting or intensifying meanings, or generating new meanings and significances.
The position that a form of expression such as sound occupies nowadays in the field of visual arts remains a topic open to debate, closely connected to an older debate on the loss of the specificity of art. To what extent does the sound, or other non-visual stimuli, find their place in contemporary art? Intermedia art, Sound art, Sound sculpture, Sound installation, Visual music are some of the current trends inhabiting an interdisciplinary paradigm, crossing the borders between art genres. The temptation of sonic experiments has a much older history and it sometimes intersects with visual arts. Pratella and Russolo’s acoustic futurism, Varèse’s concept of “liberation of sound”, Schaeffer’s theory of “sound objects”, Cage’s “aleatory music”, noise music performances by Fluxus artists, Luc Ferrari’s exploitation of ambient sounds, Murray Schafer’a concept of “soundscape”, Henri Chopin’s theory of “sound poetry” are just some of the landmark moments in this evolution.
Whether they use sound effects, or they only relate visually or conceptually to them, the artists featured in the Beyond the Silence exhibition mediate a relation of parity or complementarity in creating a synesthetic work. The encoding process in another type of language becomes integral part of the creative labor. By extrapolation, the sound experience, single or repetitive, predefined or spontaneously generated, represents the starting point for an experience of a different nature. Thus, the stakes can be multiple: from a detached-scientist recalling to activating affective memory; from generating a perception of the three-dimensional to inducing some contemplative-meditative states of mind; from visual-abstract correspondences to figurative ones; from elements of creative chance to their voice transposition; from functioning as a revealing factor to being integrated as a documentary material discussed again.
The concept of the exhibition is based on understanding the sound as a deepening of peace, and not as an absence of the latter. It is an argument supporting the idea of the ubiquity of sound vibration, formulated by John Cage in the middle of the twentieth century. Through its proposed title, the exhibition also assumes a self-reflexive dimension, related to its own status in the current artistic context.
Curator: Maria Orosan-Telea
Marți, 10 martie 2015, ora 17:00 va avea loc în spațiul expozițional al Bastionului Theresia din Timișoara vernisajul expoziției Dincolo de liniște, organizată de Facultatea de Arte și Design, Universitatea de Vest în parteneriat cu platforma Avantpost.ro. Vor expune: Aura Bălănescu, Alexandru Boca, Cosmin Haiaș, Marius Jurca, Livia Mateiaș, Gabriel Kelemen, Liliana Mercioiu Popa, Sorin Oncu, Renée Renard, Petrică Ștefan, Daniel Tellman, Bogdan Tomșa, Nicolae Velciov. Propunerile artistice se bazează pe folosirea sunetului ca mijloc de expresie prin corelarea acestuia limbajului vizual și noilor media. Vernisajul va fi însoțit de un performance al studenților John Kui, Daniel Mehedinți și Marcelle Souami-Poaty de la Facultatea de Muzică și Teatru.
„Fie că folosesc efecte sonore, fie că se raportează doar vizual sau conceptual la acestea, artiștii prezenți în expoziția Dincolo de liniște mediază un raport de paritate sau complementaritate în construirea operei sinestezice. Procesul codificării într-un alt tip de limbaj devine parte integrantă a travaliului creativ. Prin extrapolare, experiența sonoră, unică sau repetitivă, predefinită sau generată spontan, constituie punctul de plecare pentru o experiență de altă natură. Mizele pot fi, astfel, multiple: de la rememorare detașat-scientistă, la activarea memoriei afective; de la generarea percepției tridimensionalității, la inducerea unor trăiri contemplativ-meditative; de la corespondențe vizual-abstracte, la coagulări figurative; de la element al hazardului creativ, la transpunerea vocală a acestuia; de la funcționarea ca instanță revelatoare, la integrarea ca material documentar rediscutat.” (curator: Maria Orosan-Telea)
Expoziția va putea fi vizitată în perioada 10-22 martie 2015, între orele 10.00-17.00.
Participants / Artwork
THE CAVE, 2015
Instalație-ambient cu sunet (acrilic pe pânză: roșu 400 THz, albastru 650 THz, magenta 750 THz, dimensiune: 200x250cm; sunet binaural: frecvențe urechea stângă 349,23 Hz / nota Fa, urechea dreaptă 357,06 Hz, sunet fantomă 7,5 Hz; video 3’’, plexic oglindă; ochelari stereoscopici; căști stereo wireless)
By reversing the relationship between illusion and reality, Aura Bălănescu proposes a contemporary version of Plato’s Parable of the Cave. The cave overwrites a mental space to the physical space itself, a territory of the conjunction between binocular and binaural effects. Thus, the two-dimensional image – a correspondent of the shadows in Plato’s allegory – reveals itself to three-dimensional perception through stereoscopy. In this context, the sound plays a decisive role in the coherent and controlled definition of the perimeter in which the virtual sculptural structures will be inserted. At the same time, the use of the two frequencies is not coincidental, as they generate the Schumann frequency, also known as Earth resonance. Visual and auditory sensations mutually mediate their relationship with possible perceptual levels, and an unexpected dimension of reality in the immediate vicinity is being delivered to their receiver.
SYNTHETIC BODY, 2015
Video installation (digital animation stop motion 1’ 22’’, transparent plexiglass box 41x31x31cm, wooden base 95×43 cm, broken cables of varying sizes)
The animation created by Alexandru Boca illustrates the dynamic, the spasms and vibrations of a possible artificial creature. Depending on the technological support through which it appears in the world, this body claims the right to an emotional existence, just like a child born prematurely claims his right to life.
The amorphous structures that make up this translucent micro-universe are made with minimalist visual means, while their tumultuous movements are correlated to aggressive sounds suggestive of blood flow, heart rate, visceral spasm. The incubator is the antechamber of the entry into the world, of the connection to it.
Interactive digital online installation http://www.sepoc.ro/
Cosmin Haiaș’s work starts from the idea of adapting a Dadaist creation process to computer technology. The double encoding process transforms the original image, that the user of the software provides, in poetry or prose read mechanically by a voice without any human emotional inflections.
SEPOC (Soft Embedded Poems Creator) offers to the ones who lack talent an ironic solution to the need for poetic expression.
Interactive installation with sound (metal frame, keyboard, quail egg shells, cigarette butts, black liquid infusion, beacon)
D.O.G.M.A., with its oscillation between MAD DOG and GOD DAM, creates a state of alert. The red light and the shrill sound warn about the imminent danger. While the only accessible textual reality is the doctrine, life is nourished by a toxic, disaggregating substance.
Digital interactive sound installation
The Freestyle Matrix_2015 work is part of a complex conceptual research developed by Marius Jurca in recent years, which aims to explore creative chance. The whole approach is based on three interconnected elements: the Creation Algorithm (Cr. A.), the Matrix (M.) and the Creative Interval (C.I.) that the artist uses this time in order to generate an interactive experiment. Through direct interaction with the Matrix composed of 1024 symbols, the public generates a visual archive stored digitally, which encodes the whole development of the event in its specific language. In this process, the sound triggered by touching a certain symbol will be equal in intensity to the tonal intensity of the symbol.
Installation-ambient (curved screen 348x200cm, digital video projection with sound 13’ 13’’)
The contemplative nature of the human being faces, in the case of Livia Mateiaș’ work, a reality that transcends the telluric, the limited space of everyday existence. The flow of cosmic matter, associated with the sound the artist assigned to it, is displayed to the senses and consciousness as an experience of the unknown. The Universe with its multiple entities becomes a seductive, gripping image, capable of suggesting the infinite.
This work was selected to participate in the FILE Media Art 2015, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
SONICITATE CONSONATISTĂ, 2015
Video installation (video, 2 photographic images 200×120 cm, circular tank with black liquid 60×2 cm, woodcarving 25x17cm)
In the process of generating the figurative image, Gabriel Kelemen operates with the so-called “fluid geometries alphabet”. It is subject to the universal laws of sphere-spiral principle, experimentally verifiable using stationary sound waves. The correlation of visual and audio language is produced by transferring acoustic stimuli on mass fluid substances whose consistency and viscosity varies depending on the artist’s intentions. The possibilities of configuration of some coherent images on the surface of liquids are endless, culminating with the emergence of the humanoid mask.
Liliana MERCIOIU POPA
JUST SILENCE? 2015
Installation (spatial construction of elastic cords and picture frame, size 486x80x80)
The work Just silence?, based on the artist’s recently conducted plastic research and correlated to her second work from the exhibition, “calls for quiet reflection on what ends up in noise, in relation to what quietly smolders, or on possible intermediate stages”, to use the very words of Liliana Popa Mercioiu.
Setting up a tense spatial geometry by elastic cords, which determines, at the same time, its stability and balance, appears as an expression of a profound artistic creed. The temptation of overusing, interfering or skidding can always be countered by immersion in its own inner peace.
Liliana MERCIOIU POPA
JUST NOISE? 2015
Interactive sound installation, with 11 boxes of dominoes (5 × 10 cm), audio recording playing the sound of falling tiles, overall size 250 x 50 cm
Liliana Mercioiu Popa’s work brings into discussion the topic of globalization, allowing the viewer, through the symbolic gesture of acting on the tiles of domino, to contribute to understanding the meaning of the term. Triggering the avalanche of tiles that reunite in the pile beneath the boxes represents a personal choice, just as each of us can choose to be actors in the globalization game or to remain spectators.
Through the construction of the work, the answer to the question stated in the title is bivalent.
On one hand, globalization is just noise, because there are no tiles left in the boxes, thus the word, once it finally becomes coherent, loses its strength. On the other hand, the falling tiles not only produce noise, but also mechanical interaction, they collide with each other, they determine each other’s trajectories and the space they inhabit in this whole called globalization.
STILL LIFE 4 – TWITTERING MACHINE, 2014
Audio installation (cage, yellow feathers, dismantled voice recorder, table with tools used for dismantling the voice recorder: screwdriver, pliers, cutter, table for police interrogation numbered with the zip code of Guantanamo Bay, broken lamp, audiotape: interview with Arthur Miller, texts: Interview and Interrogation – Department Of Defense – June 1991, Study Committee of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program – Senate Select Committee on Intelligence – December 2012, Declassification Revisions December 2014, Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation – CIA – July 1963), different dimensions).
Sorin Oncu is interested in the process of deconstruction of apparently stable political concepts. The case of the writer Arthur Miller leads the artist to questioning some paradoxes of the democratic world, which, to secure its existence, recurs including to oppressive methods specific to dictatorships. Twittering Machine refers to institutionalized practices of illegal torture that CIA inflicts on the detainees during interrogations.
By extrapolation, the work functions as a critique of any kind of abuse to which the individual may be subject to by the political power meant to guarantee their fundamental rights and freedoms.
SOUND ROMANCE, 2015
Photography/digital processing, digital print (100×70 cm)
In Sound Romance, Renée Renard relates to a period of his life, intimately connected to the space where the work is currently exhibited. Remembering sounds of the past contributes to the fragmentary and subjective reconstruction of personal history. Photographs of texts on genetics, exhibited alongside a portrait from the past and another one from the present, are the prerogatives of his own voice in the past, when he was revising courses for university admission. The sound and image work together, thus activating the affective memory.
Installation with sound (engine 51x60x41 cm, heartbeat sound)
In his work, Petrică Ștefan questions the mutual transfer of formal and functional features between a mechanomorphe and an organic structure. He associates the rough aspect of an engine with the decontextualized image of the human heart. The suggestion of this relationship is provided by the background sound that recreates the heartbeat sound.
1 m³ OF TIME, 2015
Audio installation (48 ambient sound recordings, 48 print images on film 30×30 cm, objects made of plasterboard 75x75x75 cm)
Daniel Tellman’s work is based on the theme of the fourth dimension. He interprets an unfolded tesseract, comprising eight cubes consisting of photographic images made after a long pinhole exposure. Each of these images is itself fragmented into six distinct temporary moments, printed on one transparent sheet, but arranged in such as way as to recompose the intelligible image.
Throughout this process of coherent articulation of a precarious spatio-temporal structure, sound plays a crucial role. For every image, the artist recurs to playing the audio recording made during the shooting process.
π ROMANTICA, 2015
Installation (matches collage 45 x 290 cm, objects made of layers of pasteboard 38 x 30 x 91 cm)
The installation created by Bogdan Tomșa encompasses two similar structural elements. Each is based on a module: the burnt match stick, in the first case, and the piece of cardboard with a cut-out in the shape of a circle, in the second case. The collage made of burnt matches hints at a controlled form of arsonist instinct, which rather finds its motivation in the pleasure of hearing the sound of fire. Moreover, arranging the sticks in a two-dimensional plan corresponds to a possible visual transposition of sound frequencies. The object resulting from the overlapping of the cut-out circles suggests, through the illusion given by the mirror positioned at the end of the inner cylinder, an infinite space where the echo is also perpetual.
INNER SOUND, 2015
Video installation and performance (oil on canvas 250x 100 cm, tree trunk cut in multiple pieces of variable size, digital animation 3’, live sound)
The relationship between visual and auditory is enhanced by Nicolae Velciov starting from the idea that any natural entity has its interior sound, generated by the life pulsing in it. The tracks left in the woody matter by the parasites which had populated it thus become traces of sound, visually perceptible only by a multiple sectioning. In this context, fragmentation and the graphic transposition of the interior reality of the wood can be understood as a reconstruction of sound tracks.
A second phase of the approach consists of transcribing in pictorial language of signs on two-dimensional surfaces of each section of wood, visual material transposed in its turn into a piece of music with the help of musicians collaborating with the artist.
Artworks presentation by Maria Orosan Telea.