Artists/Artistic Practice Research

Over the past couple of years I’ve become more and more interested in sound and what sound can do. It’s taken me a while to come around to sound, but the first time I really remember being struck by sound was at a noise music concert that a friend of mine put on in which, with gleeful transgression a group of punks blew away Burnside Avenue in Portland, Oregon on a Saturday afternoon. Incidentally, the orchestrator of that event has recently started a deconstructionist film blog Talking at The Movies with the tagline: “Spoiler Alert: Meaning is an Artifact of Creation.”

Three other experiences with sound include experiencing “The Forty Part Motet (A reworking of “Spem in Alium” by Thomas Tallis 1573)” by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller at The Cloisters in Manhattan.  This piece was truly transforming. You would walk around this amazing chapel which was transported from Spain and could here each individual voice on each individual speaker. It really got you to think about sound and I really believe that sound is something we have difficulty focusing on. This allowed a modern audience to focus on Thomas Tallis’ truly amazing composition.


Recently I’ve become fascinated with John Luther Adam’s compositions such as Inuksuit, which incorporate the avant-garde musical tradition of early 20th century percussion oriented composition with Stockhausen’s radical site specific “Helicopter String Quartet.” John Luther Adams, however, combines the radicalness of these gestures with truly relatable sounds such as those, in the case of Inuksuit, of the arctic. He studies these sounds and reinterprets them for orchestra, again, so we can here them again.


Composer Nico Muhly has done the same thing with the traditional folk song “Oh, The Wind and Rain.” He has essentially, deconstructed this song into separate parts and then over the course of a three part composition (one of which is in the video above) this song is rebuilt. More about this song and this composition can be found on Nico Muhly’s website.

The commonality I have found between these compositions is the way sound is used to call attention to a composition or sound that already exists that we pass over and don’t really hear.

Recently curator Ian Berry suggested I take a look at the artist David Brooks and take a deeper look at Mark Dion. My advisor, Andrew Johnson suggested I do the same. These are the results of some of research:


Minute 2:32 is excellent, talking about how to get us to know, what we think we already know about; to reevaluate our preconceptions.

Here’s a short description about how Mark Dion operates.  I specifically interested in how Mark Dion operates in bringing together disparate connections. He talks about this towards the end of the video, though not in as much depth as I would have liked.

One of my ongoing interests is unexpected inter-relationships. I’ve specifically been interested in metaphors both linguistic and visual. I’m currently researching for a new exhibition on models. One of my models for this exhibition is Triple Canopy’s exhibit and online article, “Pointing Machines.

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In this video, William Delvoye, explains his interests in art. I am particularly interested in this because of the way that Delvoye explains that, basically, he likes to make stuff. He also explains his fascination with the technical side of making things, but from a purely formal perspective.



One of my ongoing interests has been alchemy. Over the summer I spent two weeks at Mildred’s Lane. I became interested in alchemy through my research into art and his understanding/definition of alchemy and my belief that he considered his artwork to be alchemy.  At Mildred’s Lane I found that people there had similar interests in alchemy, not a New Age-y mysticism, but instead a very real engagement with materials and process. They did this through several years and through the process of building an alchemist shack. This project is documented on Mildred’s Lane’s website as well as in a related article in Cabinet Magazine and an accompanying sound recording.

I’m very interested in the way in which Robert Williams, who collaborated on the Alchemy Shack at Mildred’s Lane.  I was particularly interested in the way he talks about collaboration especially in relationship to the recent collaborative projects I have undertaken. In the lecture below Robert Williams specifically refers to The Collaborative Turn, about academic collaboration.

In The William Delvoye video above talks about the way he works with a team of technicians. This is something I am interested in doing eventually and, indeed, one of the artists I often look towards is Olafur Eliasson and how his studio functions. I found this interesting video which sort of goes into how it functions:



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