Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Volume: Hear Here

Sound artist and curator Christof Migone has put together a two-part exhibition around the idea of presence and absence, called Volume: Hear Here. The Blackwood Gallery component opens tomorrow, and the JMB Gallery the following evening.

The artists featured at the Blackwood space include myself, Alexis O'Hara, Darsha Hewitt, John Oswald, Ian Skedd, and Charles Stankievech. Artists showing at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery include Mitchell Akiyama, crys cole, Marla Hlady, Neil Klassen, David Lieberman, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Sylvia Matas, David Merritt, Ryan Park, Juliana Pivato, Alexandre St-Onge, Chiyoko Szlavnics, and John Wynne. When I visited her studio Marla was at work on a rotating floor that would also serve as a speaker.

The opening reception is tomorrow night (Wednesday January 16th) from 5 to 8pm. A free shuttle bus service is offered, which will depart at 5:30 pm from Mercer Union (1286 Bloor Street W.) and return for 8pm. The Justina M. Barnicke Gallery opening is the following night, from 7 to 9pm.

For more information, including photos and an extensive curatorial statement, visit the Blackwood site, here.

I am showing two works, both of which were made as editions (of sorts). The first is called Nothing (for Robert Barry), which consists of a powerbar and ultra-sonic pest control devices. It was originally part of a solo exhibition called Room Tone, in which all of the works emitted a faint or inaudible sound, though I always thought of the piece as being more about a room empty of mice and rats.

The second piece is Untitled (Headset) in which a simple pair of headphones sits on hook on the wall. They have been discreetly altered with the stereo cable split and quarter inch jacks soldered to each wire. These are then plugged into a amplifier, one as input and the other as output. This turns one of the earpieces into a microphone, which picks up the signal of the speaker headphone, and creates a screeching feedback. The headsets sits on the wall, humming away, until someone picks it and puts it on. The viewer's head blocks the signal and nothing is heard. I've always likened it to putting two mirrors up against one another as a way to understand infinity, which you cannot because your head gets in the way. A nice blunt metaphor.

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