Thursday, 8 November 2012

Research - Sound Art and Sound installation


(Peter Vogel)

Sound Art

 Sound art is a diverse group of art practices that considers wide notions of sound, listening and hearing as its predominant focus. There are often distinct relationships forged between the visual and aural domains of art and perception by sound artists.
Like many genres of contemporary art, sound art is interdisciplinary in nature, or takes on hybrid forms. Sound art often engages with the subjects of acoustics, psychoacoustics, electronics, noise music, audio media and technology (both analog and digital), found or environmental sound, explorations of the human body, sculpture, film or video and an ever-expanding set of subjects that are part of the current discourse of contemporary art.
From the Western art historical tradition early examples include Luigi Russolo's  

Intonarumori or noise intoners, and subsequent experiments by Dadaists, Surrealists, the Situationist International, and in Fluxus happenings. Because of the diversity of sound art, there is often debate about whether sound art falls within the domain of either the visual art or experimental music categories, or both. Other artistic lineages from which sound art emerges are conceptual art, minimalism, site-specific art, sound poetry, spoken word, avant-garde poetry, and experimental theatre.

Scottish artist Susan Philipsz's 2010 British Turner Prize win for her piece Lowlands (overlapping recordings of the artist singing an ancient Scottish lament in three different versions, played back over a loudspeaker system, without any visual component) was seen as an important boost for this relatively new genre (it was the first time a work of sound art won this prestigious prize), and, in winning an art prize, again highlighted the genre's blurred boundaries with other, more visual artforms.


(Sonicity by Stanza)

Sound installation

Sound installation (related to sound art and sound sculpture) is an intermedia and time based art form. It is an expansion of an art installation in the sense that it includes the sound element and therefore the time element. The main difference with a sound sculpture is that a sound installation has a three dimensional space and the axes with which the different sound objects are being organized are not exclusively internal to the work, but also external. A work of art is an installation only if it makes a dialog with the surrounding space. A sound installation is usually a site-specific but sometimes it can be readapted to other spaces. It can be made either in close or open spaces, and context is fundamental to determine how a sound installation will be aesthetically perceived. The difference between a regular art installation and a sound installation is that the later one has the time element, which gives the visiting public the possibility to stay a longer time due possible curiosity over the development of sound. This temporal factor also gives the audience the excuse to explore the space thoroughly due to the dispositions of the different sounds in space. Sound installations sometimes use interactive art technology (computers, sensors, mechanical and kinetic devices, etc.) but we also find this type of art form using only sound sources placed in different space points (like speakers), or acoustic music instruments materials like piano strings that are played by a performer or by the public (see Paul Panhuysen).

 (Sound disc Wang Fu-Jui)

 Sound structure in sound installations
  1. The simpler sound form is a repeating sound loop. This is mostly used in ambient art, and in this case the sound is not the determinant factor of the art work.
  2. The most used sound structure is the open form, since the public can decide to experience a sound installation for just a few minutes or for a longer period of time. This obliges the artist to construct a sound organization that is capable of working well in both of the two cases.
  3. There is also the possibility to have a linear sound structure, where sound develops in the same way as in a musical composition. In this case, the artist might risk not having the audience staying for the whole length of the sound.
  4. An emergent form of location sensitive mobile and immersive sound work enabled by GPS devices and ubiquitous computing is developing non-linear navigable sound art works soniclandscapes and audionomad.

Examples of Sound installation



( David Bryne Playing the building)




(Michele Spanghero Because Tomorrow comes)




(Craig Colorusso Sun Boxes)

Since the main outcome of my project is that of a sound piece I've looked at various different sound artists and what sound art is to understand it better. It's also gave me inspiration on the different ways we can potray sound either with added media or not in a space for a installation and artistic context. Also with in which context we can catergorize different types of sound art and how installation gives the participator a time element and new outcomes in how they interact with it.

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