[-empyre-] curating sound art

Lewis Kaye p.lewis.kaye at gmail.com
Wed Jun 18 01:03:54 EST 2014

Online curation does open up some new possibilities, however there is a
problem with the exclusivity it imposes. MP3s are a very finicky format,
and a lot of audio work just sounds terrible when compressed this way.
Such work, for example some of the compositions I do with crowd sounds,
could never be presented this way.

Basically, the format is not a neutral part of the signal chain. Sterne's
book on the subject makes this abundantly clear.



On 2014-06-17, 10:22 AM, "Jim Drobnick" <jim at displaycult.com> wrote:

>----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>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?
>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
>>> 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>
>>> ----------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
>>> onward: "ALTERing NATIVism: Sound Cultures in Post-War Taiwan" at the
>>> Project Space.  This included footage of very loud rave events that
>>> into other rooms and pieces.  I actually found the bleed to be
>>> 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
>>> where many of these bleed problems are naturally contained.  You might
>>> interested in an exhibition that I did with Arthur and Marilouise
>>> for our collaborative project, CTHEORY Multimedia, called NetNoise:
>>> http://ctheorymultimedia.cornell.edu/four.php  Although the pieces
>>> 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----------------------
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> empyre forum
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>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
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