St. Augustine, Fla. — Seventeen artists from around the world will elevate the sensory medium of sound to an art form from Sept. 2 to Nov. 22, as part of an exhibition at the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum (CEAM). The exhibition, curated by artists Michael Dickins and Barry Jones and organized by Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., will kick off with a walk-through on Friday, Sept. 2 at 4 p.m. with a reception to follow, from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.
The artists included in the exhibition are Phillip Andrew Lewis, Olivia Block, Curt Cloning, McLean Fahnestock, Josh Gumiela, Brian Harnetty, Morgan Higby-Flowers, Aaron Hutchinson, Peter Kay, Kris Neely with Lynn Rhodes, Will Owen, Greg Pond and Jesse Thompson, Matt Roberts, Steve Roden, Jason Sloan, and Nathan Wolek.
While sound art is now accepted as a distinct medium in the contemporary art world, and has been given increasing recognition through exhibitions by major arts institutions worldwide, artists have been employing sound as a material in their work since the early part of the 20th century.
Some of artists, composers and innovators who have laid the groundwork for our current understanding of sound art, include the Futurist Luigi Russolo, who in 1913 espoused the idea that everyday ‘noise’ could be the future of music through his essay “The Art of Noise,” and his orchestra of mechanical sounds. During the 1940s and 1950s in Paris, Pierre Schaeffer took this idea further and experimented with “acousmatic sound,” sounds manipulated so much that they become divorced from any visual clues to their source, forming the basis for the genre “Musique Concrete.”
According to artist Alan Licht in “Sound Art,” during roughly the same time period in the United States, John Cage similarly “recognized everyday sounds as potential compositional material.”
He championed silence and chance as legitimate elements in his compositions, and collaborated with visual artists, poets, and choreographers, among others, to create groundbreaking works that moved beyond the traditional boundaries of music. A great many other artists from the 1960s until now have taken these ideas down myriad paths, approaching sound singularly, or as part of an interdisciplinary practice.
Likewise, the 17 artists included in this exhibition use sound in diverse ways, from manipulating field recordings and found sound, to creating sound through data-based, analogue to digital means, to using the environment or architecture to create sound sculptures.
In Moonrise Parade, Brian Harnetty utilizes field recordings he’s taken from a rural festival. Phillip Andrew Lewis lines up and plays the songs from The Smith’s album “Meat is Murder” all at the same time, in his work Barbarism Begins at Home. Olivia Block employs field recordings along with chamber musicians in her work Make the Land (Heave To).
In addition to 12 pieces that will be presented as recordings to which visitors will listen with headphones, Sound will also include sculptural/installation works by McLean Fahnestock and Matt Roberts, and site-specific pieces by Greg Pond and Jesse Thompson, and Kris Neely, Peter Kay, with Lynn Rhodes.
Collaborators Greg Pond and Jesse Thompson will recreate the work they made for Austin Peay State University, Techtonic Apperception, a multi-channel audio installation using electroacoustic transducers attached to the museum’s windows to transform the building into a sound sculpture. Kris Neely, Peter Kay and Lynn Rhodes will install their work Circumpliance in the grassy oval in front of the museum. This piece is comprised of piano parts that Neely has deconstructed from salvaged pianos that are left to decompose out of doors, paired with an 88-track electro-acoustic score, composed by Peter Kay. The scores play in a randomized order, making a dynamic piece that can be experienced in an almost infinite number of ways.
In conjunction with the exhibition, CEAM will host a performance by Jacksonville-based singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Insel (Robin Rütenberg) on Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.
Additionally, the gallery has commissioned Michael Dickins, one of the exhibition’s curators and a sound artist as well, to create a site-specific sound installation in Flagler College’s Palm Garden. The piece will be installed during the week of Oct. 10 and will be on view through the end of the exhibition.
During the week of Oct. 24, CEAM will host Olivia Block, one of the Sound artists, and the inaugural artist for our newly initiated artist residency program. During her weeklong visit, Block will lead an interdisciplinary workshop, and on Wednesday, Oct. 26 will give a public performance to take place on the Flagler College campus (Rotunda).
Artist Matt Roberts, associate professor of Digital Arts at Stetson University, will give an artist talk, on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. in the Gamache-Koger Theater, Ringhaver Student Center.
This program is generously supported through a grant from The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.
For further information on the exhibition and related programs, please visit the website at www.flagler.edu/crispellert, or contact Julie Dickover at 904-826-8530 or email@example.com. The museum’s hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.