The Shape of Sound
September 21 - November 23, 1996
Jeanette Ingberman, Papo Colo, Ben Neil
Ursula von Rydingsvard
Antenna Tool & Die Co.
The Shape of Sound was a dynamic exhibition/performance event which studied the blurring of distinctions between mediums which has been made possible by new technologies and new sensibilities. Conceived by curators Jeanette Ingberman and Papo Colo, Co-Founders of Exit Art/The First World, and Ben Neill, a composer and musician, The Shape of Sound consisted of music and sound performances, both live and recorded, as well as installations. One of the main features was the interaction between the performances and the installations, between musicians and visual artists. The purpose of The Shape of Sound was to comprehend the different experiences of sound and music in common life, and the different ways artists and musicians fashion those experiences.
The Shape of Sound provided a forum for sound artists to present their works in an environment created by a group of visual artists. The Shape of Sound was a two month-long, interactive presentation of performances and installations by musicians and visual artists.
Every two weeks for eight weeks, two different musicians created sonic environments for the space, one musician per gallery. The musicians acted as curators/hosts and created their interpretations of what is going on in the field of ambient music. Over the period of the weeks they combined recorded sound, music, and live performances, making Exit Art/The First World a laboratory for new ambient explorations - a kind of urban, dynamic, interactive and evolving sound environment.
The visual artists, spanning a gamut of sculptors, designers and conceptual artists, created environments in which the public could listen to musicby sitting, standing, leaning, reclining, etc. The visual interpretations of these environments ranged freely from the concrete to the conceptual, from the pleasure of listening to music to the necessity of the comfort of the body to listen to music.
This presentation was a study of the environmental relationship of art, music, performance and design. How do organized sounds, i.e. music, belong in the same structure as organized forms, which is art? What is it that we imagine when we listen to music, what is the visuality of organized sound? How does music effects our moods? What materials do artists and musicians manipulate to express this environment? How does design (lighting, spatial, acoustic) effect the ways we enjoy music? Some of the influences on this new aesthetic are the Happenings of the 1960s, the early minimalist works of Reich, Riley, Glass and Young, and Brian Eno's ambient music and social structures of diverse global cultures.
The relationship between mediums - the translation from the intangible to the tangible - became a central issue of the show. The experience of sound became design and the experience of design transformed into performance. One of our goals was to offer the public an individual and collective experience of the ways sound effects usa chance to explore the relationship between sound, environment and leisure time. Entering the space, the visitor becomes an actor in a transient, ambient theater event.
Exhibit Archive | 96-97 Calender