Sound

Sound

The work with sound developed from an interest in what could be understood as the ‘material’ qualities of sound, the relationships between sound, image and reception, sound and the practices and processes of display, and the role of the full range of senses in developing knowledge and in the processes of reception. This evolved from research with documentary sound and photography which formed the basis of an AHRC-funded practice-led PhD, completed successfully at Northumbria University in 2010.

 

(An article outlining this research, as well as a link to download related PhD, is available here:http://andrewmcniven.com/writing.html).

 

In some instances the links below document, inadequately, gallery sound installations (e.g. Monkey Business Nos. 29 & 32) in others, these are ambient field-recordings intended for 'performance' (Unnoticed Art Project).

 

The gallery installations invite the viewer to examine closely the space which art or material culture inhabits in the process of being on display whilst at the same time experiencing directly something of its archaeology and history. Of particular interest was the work being understood in the same terms as an installation photograph, a transmittable representation of a particular set of cultural circumstances.Through the recapitulation of something of the phenomenological experience of looking at art or material culture the intention was to allow some kind of temporal and spatial dislocation of the viewer to occur.

 

The performed soundworks in many cases produce works which aspire to ‘invisibility’: in these participants carry small portable speakers reproducing site-specific ambient recordings of a similar site or set of activities with shared characteristics in another location, at another time, dislocated both temporally or spatially.The recordings are reproduced at a 1:1 scale, becoming at times camouflaged, in sonic terms, ‘invisible'; at these points of ‘invisibility’ the works will have achieved their aim and will have become entirely embedded in their transposed context. The participants become involved in performing an act of close listening, in a shift or reconfiguring of their sensory register, in an act of covert infiltration, and in some cases, a redefined sensory relationship to the familiar.

 

One previous participant, 'Lilla', reflected on the experience:

 

It felt as if there would be a ‘ghost-world’ which I can only hear but not see. It felt as if I was present at two places at the same time... I didn’t look that much, but I started to listen.”

 

(van Lent, Frans (ed.): Unnoticed Art, RAD Dordrecht, 2014, p52)

 

 

 

Selected Sound Works:

A Redistributed Garment, a Redistributed Wearer (2017)

Stereo digital audio

Unnoticed Art, Platforms Project: Documenta 14, Athens, 2017.

The Messiah, 2010 (excerpt)

Installation at Gallery North PS, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

CD player, amplifier, two speakers, infinitely looped ambient sound recording, (Musical Instruments Gallery, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford), gallery information label, perspex.

Performed Soundworks (various dates)

Stereo digital audio

Unnoticed Art Project: Dordrecht/Friedrichshafen (2014);

La Biennale di Venezia/Rotterdam, (2015).

(These works were downloaded and 'performed' by participants)

Monkey Business No. 32 (Sigmund Freud). 2010 (excerpt)

Installation at Gallery North, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Exhibition: 'Packing for the Crash'

CD player, amplifier, two speakers, infinitely looped ambient sound recording, (interior of the right-hand drawer of Sigmund Freud’s desk, recorded in his study, the Freud Museum, Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, London, June 2009), gallery information label, perspex.

 

Monkey Business No. 29 (Warhol, Lichtenstein, 1972). 2009 (excerpt)

Installation at Gallery North PS, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

CD player, amplifier, four speakers, looped ambient sound recording made in Room 15 of the Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, New York, (demolished 1979) June 17th 1972. Works inc. Andy Warhol: Untitled (Electric Chairs). 1971. Roy Lichtenstein: Entablature, 1967. (Sound recording courtesy of Mark Tauman, Chicago) Gallery information label, perspex.

Monkey Business No. 29 (Warhol, Lichtenstein, 1972). 2009

Installation at Gallery North PS, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

 

Photos ©Ikuko Tsuchiya 土屋育子

Occasional/Other Soundworks:

Untitled (Work for Venting/Ducting) 2016 (excerpt)

Looped stereo digital audio

Installed as part of: Inside Job: The Director’s Cut

Locatie Z, The Hague

Right time, wrong speed, 33/45. (2017)

Stereo digital audio

(original recording: 'Picking the Blues' by Grinderswitch).

Untitled (Work for Venting/Ducting) 2016

Installation during Inside Job: The Director’s Cut,

Locatie Z, The Hague

Right time, wrong speed, 45/33. (2017)

Stereo digital audio

(original recording: 'Picking the Blues' by Grinderswitch).

All original material ©2018 Andrew McNiven. All rights reserved.