Almost 100 years ago, Luigi Russolo wrote The Art of Noises in a letter to fellow Futurist and friend Francesco Balilla Pratella. The manifesto announced a total revision of aesthetic values towards the construction of a new model for sound/music with a critical impulse towards social and political change.
Dear Pratella, functions as a research exhibition and experiment that investigates the critical potential of sound-based art in various social, spatial, temporal, and discursive contexts: as an gallery installation at the CCS Hessel Museum, as a public intervention at the Rhinecliff Amtrak train station, and as a mass media broadcast via local and internet radio*. Jacob Kirkegaard, Chris Kubick & Anne Walsh, and Hong-Kai Wang present their work in these different sites, rotating from site to site on a weekly basis.
Dear Pratella, invites contributions of research through a workshop using listening exercises to experiment with critical geography, conducted by Rozalinda Borcilă, and a group discussion based on qualitative research methods.
Research Event 1: Friday, May 6, 2011, 2-5p
Seminar Room 3, CCS Bard
The workshop, “This site is under construction”, repurposes methods from musicology, structural acoustics and acoustic ecology, and leverages them toward a politicized understanding of space, as well as engaging with listening as a social making. Participants will use guided listening exercises in two different sites, to critically explore notions of social and spatial distance. The goal is to shift conceptual and sensorial understanding from space as container to space as process.
Research Event 2: Friday, May 13, 2011, 2-5p
Seminar Room 3, CCS Bard
After experiencing the sound-based artworks in each site, and drawing upon qualitative research methods, the public and research guests are invited to discuss the critical potential of the sound-based artworks and their sites. Here we will rely on our subjective “realities”, grounded in our own relationships to art, sound, philosophy, critical theory, and politics, to ask not only “what do you hear?” but also “how” and “why”.
Edited recordings of research events, as well as archive podcasts of Dear Pratella, radio, will be released online as an audio dossier via the project website.
In settings with distinct physical architectures, varying levels of publicity and privacy, different ways of existing and moving through space, and distinct modes of social interaction, we want to explore the critical potential of aural aesthetic perception by asking: what do you hear?
For more information, visit www.dearpratella.org.
Rozalinda Borcilă is an artist and writer currently based in Chicago. She has been teaching listening in university programs, social centers and free schools in the U.S. and Europe. Her work deals with power and daily life, and has been exhibited/published internationally. However, much of her practice withdraws from the exhibition form. She also works within several self-organized and autonomous projects, such as Compass Group, Mess Hall in Chicago, 6Plus (working largely in the Occupied Territories of Palestine), BLW and the Center for Getting Ugly.
Jacob Kirkegaard is a Danish artist based in Berlin, who focuses on the scientific and aesthetic aspects of resonance, time, sound and hearing. His installations, compositions and performances deal with acoustic spaces and phenomena that usually remain imperceptible. Using unorthodox recording tools, Kirkegaard captures and contextualizes hitherto unheard sounds from within a variety of environments.
Chris Kubick and Anne Walsh, both Oakland, CA-based artists, produce sculpture, works on paper, video, video games, audio CDs and sound installations. From 2001 to 2005, their project Art After Death centered on the overlaps of metaphysics and art history. From 2004-2007, they produced works from a massive commercial sound effects library, exploring the rhetorical and sculptural dimensions of these complex cultural archives. In recent video projects, they continue work with specialist performers and craftspeople to focus on the residue of fantasy left behind at “historical” sites and monuments.
Anne Walsh is a contributing editor of X-Tra Art and Culture Quarterly, a blogger for San Francisco MoMA, and is Associate Professor of Art at U.C. Berkeley. Chris Kubick is a sound designer and lecturer in new media and sound art at U.C. Berkeley. He is also the founder and director of Language Removal Services.
Hong-Kai Wang is a Taiwanese artist based in New York. She studied art and politics at the National Taiwan University, followed by a master’s degree in Arts and Media Studies at the New School. Her work is situated at the crossroads of political performance and social analysis. As veritable sound landscapes, her installations are made up of noises and acoustic and vocal atmospheres.
* Broadcasts will be presented on Saturdays, May 7th, 14th, and 21st from 8-9pm on WGXC 90.7 FM in Greene and Columbia counties and free103point9 online. To listen and for more information, visit www.wgxc.org and www.free103point9.org.
Dear Pratella, what do you hear? is curated by Michelle Y. Hyun as part of the requirements for the master of arts degree in curatorial studies.
Student-curated projects at CCS Bard are made possible with support from the Rebecca and Martin Eisenberg Student Exhibition Fund; the Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg Family Foundation; the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation; the Board of Governors of the Center for Curatorial Studies, and by the Center’s Patrons, Supporters, and Friends. Additional support is provided by the Monique Beudert Award Fund.