[-empyre-] curating sound art

Jim Drobnick jim at displaycult.com
Wed Jun 18 00:22:42 EST 2014


Online curating definitely has advantages and disadvantages, doesn't it? While the technology of mp3s and the like certainly make soundworks more easily distributable and accessible, the problems are evident in the 2 shows I mentioned in my intro yesterday -- ICA's Soundworks and Berlin's Zeigen (which wasn't an online show technically, but it functions like one when distributed on CD). Both had an overwhelming number of artists, and most of the clips were short, a minute or less. 

Beyond the limited expectations of what can be done in such a short time frame, I found something else arose in the listening experience. While flipping through so many contributions one after another, either in the space or at home, I found myself judging the works by how much immediate impact they offered. Works that had an emphatic oomph to them, something like on the order of Dick Higgins' Danger Music, drew my attention more than subtler works. Nuance seemed to lose out by comparison. My patience was practically non-existent when going through all the files to find the most interesting one or the next "hit". Even though I knew my experience was being biased, and I had the opportunity to control it, it felt like the technology coerced my listening to a great degree. 

Any one else experience something similar? How is it possible, then, to counteract the downside of superficial online listening?

best,

Jim



On 2014-06-17, at 9:51 AM, Salomé Voegelin wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> It's interesting that noone has yet to mention curating sound art online
>> where many of these bleed problems are naturally contained.  
> 
> I am very interested in the context of work online, less as a parallel gallery opportunity and more as a radiophonic environment off schedule. I have tried to do something in that way myself (http://clickanywhere.crisap.org/) but feel that the visual pull of the net, our staring into its virtual space, makes it important the the environment the sound work is embedded in is well designed and carefully considered in relation to the sound so we get seduced to listen rather than focus on what is not there. 
> 
>> I actually found the bleed to be fascinating
>> and energizing, as if to suggest that the energy and volume of these
>> radical performance events 
> 
> I also do not find the bleed the main problem of curating sound, and would not go on-line to avoid it. the very opposite: the overlaps and spillages are the audio-visual context the sound work is performed in, just like the architecture of the space, color of the walls, or the lighting arrangement, they form not a distraction but the focus of listening and could be exploited and used in designing the presentation/performance rather than avoided. 
> 
> 
> On Jun 17, 2014, at 2:37 PM, Timothy Conway Murray <tcm1 at cornell.edu> wrote:
> 
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Thanks everyone for such stimulating posts.  I enjoyed an exhibition in
>> Taiwan this spring on the history of sound art in Taiwan from martial law
>> onward: "ALTERing NATIVism: Sound Cultures in Post-War Taiwan" at the Cube
>> Project Space.  This included footage of very loud rave events that bled
>> into other rooms and pieces.  I actually found the bleed to be fascinating
>> and energizing, as if to suggest that the energy and volume of these
>> radical performance events (just after the lifting of martial
>> law)connected with and resounded through the related sound art projects in
>> Taiwan.
>> 
>> It's interesting that noone has yet to mention curating sound art online
>> where many of these bleed problems are naturally contained.  You might be
>> interested in an exhibition that I did with Arthur and Marilouise Kroker
>> for our collaborative project, CTHEORY Multimedia, called NetNoise:
>> http://ctheorymultimedia.cornell.edu/four.php  Although the pieces don't
>> bleed into each other, they will continue to resonate in the background if
>> users don't close their browser (a little trick we played on more naïve
>> users of a decade agoŠ).
>> 
>> Best,
>> 
>> Tim
>> 
>> Timothy Murray
>> Professor of Comparative Literature and English
>> Director, Society for the Humanities
>> http://www.arts.cornell.edu/sochum/
>> Curator, Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media
>> http://goldsen.library.cornell.edu
>> A D White House
>> Cornell University,
>> Ithaca, New York 14853
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On 6/16/14 2:44 PM, "Andra McCartney" <andrasound at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> 
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