October 2010 Archives


Artist Presentation Guide

Chose an artist or collaborative group of artist as the focus of your presentation.

Include the following in your Artist Presentation:

- Background information about the sound artist.

- Discuss what attracted you to the work of this artist.

- Highlight two examples of this artist's work and use these to describe the artist's relationship to the concepts and processes that motivate their work.

-Describe how these works relate to the artist's larger body of work.

- Relate this artist, via content, process, technology, perspective, etc. to that of another contemporary artist or artists from another time period.

- Discuss how this artist's work informs your own thinking.

>>>>>Following your presentation<<<<<

- enter a post on the blog that includes the information described above

- links to examples of the artist's work

- Statement describing how this artist's work and/or process informs your thinking.

Artist Presentation Schedule


1) Meena

1) Kurtis
2) Eric

1) Jeremiah
2) Teroy

1) Sam
2) Vanessa

1) Rob

Ice as a Site Sound

A site sound inspiration:

The Apostle Islands Bike Expedition

listen to the sounds of ice





Computer sounds

Computer sounds


3 minute Site Sound Proposal

My site sound piece will be recordings of some of the unnoticed sounds of the everyday routines of morning at home. The piece will incorporate some of the obvious sounds such as alarm, shower, etc. but also to include some of the sounds which aren't as easily recognizable like the lighting of the morning cigarette and other more obscure sounds. My eventual goal is to bring all of these sounds into a greater composition for use in a sculptural installation incorporating cast metal, wood and multi-media projections.

From Home

My three minute project. Will be quite straight forward and to the point. It will be a recording of a local bar on a Tuesday special get together. The back ground sounds should make for an interesting effect. I used the Marantz Professional recorder. With a 2 gig card. The notion for this is to display the gravitational effects of people having fun and talking with one another face to face. Kind of the old fashion way. Birds of a feather flock together. I would best like it to play over speakers. That way you might understand why people do this kind of behavior.


I really enjoy looking at the installation pieces by the sparks artists, but I didn't attend the musical type performances. I am more interested in pieces that cause people to interact with the piece or other people. I did find a few of the performances interesting as long as they are more technology based and manipulated objects rather than just playing around on some midi gear or being a vj or dj. Hopefully sparks festival will be able to continue to grow/expand over the next few years. Maybe is would bring more of the non art students around if they got one headline type artist or maybe have a gallery or event where current experimental media art students could have a chance to show their works.

Project Proposal

For this project I am going to explore the computer programing lab as both a physical and psychological site. The computer lab is a distinct place with distinct sounds that are familiar people who use them. Now that I am enrolled in computer programming class, I want to explore the underlying complexities of programming in this piece. To achieve this, I will layer more complex sounds and whispers of language over the more familiar sounds of turning on the computer or monitor, typing, and clicking.

Release - Sam

For this project I will be using "emotional/physical release" as a conceptual site. My piece will be a performance using a hardware sampler as a controller of sounds of human exhalation. These will be fed into a digital delay effect pedal, to create a theoretically infinite build of source sounds, the idea being that there will be a build of tension throughout the piece that is eventually, thus bringing about the end of the piece and mimicking the sensation of "release."
The performance will be somewhat participatory in that I will be attempting to conduce the audience in such a way that they experience the performance in a vacuum-like state, and as individuals within a larger whole.

Site Sound Project Description

Post a description of your Site Sound project as if you were proposing your project to a Site Specific Sound exhibition call.

Site Sound

Site Sound is our first project presentation. You may choose to further develop one of the sound sketches preceding this or take an entirely new approach.

The concept of site is broadly considered and I encourage you to experiment and perhaps select an idea that requires further development and perhaps some uncertainty that allows you the opportunity to discover something new in the process.

• If your Site Sound work is to be experienced as one that has a set duration - to be listened to from a beginning to an end, consider a piece that is 3 minutes in duration.

• Determine how you would like people to listen to / experience your Site Sound work - head phones, speakers, mobile device, etc., while sitting, standing, walking.

• Freely interpret the notion of site

* Use any recording, processing, editing technologies that you determine to be appropriate to your idea and which will enable you to realize your concept.

Spark Festival Reflection

I attended several of the Spark events during the festival and found most of them to be quite fascinating. The one performance which stood out most of all was the Automated Percussion piece that we had the good fortune to see and hear as we toured the installations during class time last Thursday. His mastery of the rhythms generated on acoustic instruments by electronic mechanisms and computer programming were like nothing I've ever experienced before. being a percussionist myself, I found extra enjoyment in the piece. It would have taken an entire percussion section of at least six people to achieve the sound created by just one man with a funny glove. Stupendous!

SparkFestival Reflections

Most simply put, I would associate my experience at the SparkFestival as I would to my whole experience to sound art in general--new, unknowing, explorative, and challenging to my preconceptions. I had a group of friends in Brainerd who often experimented with sound art and circuit bending, but it always struck me, above all, as very unpleasant to the ear. So my experience broke down those preconceptions as well.

I attended a few performances during SparkFestival. I saw three performances on Thurs. after class, which included Bryce Beverlin II / Interface, Jazari, and Coppice (Noé Cuéllar & Joseph Kramer). The first perfomance (which was either perfomer who was not Jazari) was more circuit-bending type sound art. I remember feeling very relaxed and intrigued by the pieces from which the sounds were coming--this may be due to its waves of soft airy whooshes coming from some sort of amplified wind box. This was complimented nicely by the subtle twinklings of feedback by his counterpart. There were also some pipes and whistles or additional windy wisps, that were used by the two men. All together it had a very ethereal effect on me due to all these light headed sounds of swoops and swells.

The second performance was a two part movement with a single performer for each movement. I remember being forced to think of an east Asian setting during the first movement due to his use of many low pitched symbols and bells. My ear recollects (accurately or not) those noises as being associated with that area and culture. The second movement initially struck me as very repulsive. The man was touching his face, sticking his hands into and or around his mouth, showing his teeth, and projecting very strange and gargley/spitty sounds from his mouth--this all while shaking and moving very ecstatically. I remember thinking only vaguely of some strange ritual where the participant is overcome with a possessive entity causing them to act very "unnatural and inhuman". He then began to wiggle, seemingly, random objects around upon a mat. This was interrupted by extremely uncomfortable sounds of dull, sheet metal scraping violently upon cement. I couldn't help but think this was only quite annoying and strange. My better mind wanted to associate some deeper meaning to it all, but my eyes and ears have been preconditioned to label it all as, "some guy shaking some things around on the floor".

I stopped by the Love Power building late that night, as well, just to see what was going down. I knew there was things happening till 2am. I believe his name was Alex who was making some beats and sounds on stage that night accompanied by the staple psychedelic ambiance projected onto a white sheet. I don't really remember feeling moved, really, or taken back by his performance as it was all quite familiar. Also every one in the room was standing or sitting upon the sidelines and not "getting down" as the space and music and setting, seemingly, was designed for.

Then on Friday night I attended the Vultures' performance and popped in next door at the Love Power afterward to check out the show down there. Vultures were actually quite provoking and interesting. There was a "prepared" guitar (i.e. sticks and what not jammed in the strings) that played ambient and smooth drawn out notes and feedback. A women was playing an electrical stand up--maybe like a cello. Also there was a bicycle tipped-up and fashioned to make percussive sounds in the spokes. there was another man who had 3 boxes that he moved electrical things upon (feedback?) and another in the corner who seemed to be upon a mixer/drum pad/looper thingy. I don't know these hardwares AT ALL, as you can obviously tell. what is important is that I also brought some friends who have had no other exposure to anything such as 'sound art' so they were very taken back. I remember being very affected by their out-of-place emotions and was either outwardly over-interested or like-wise shocked (among simple ear-perking interest). The sounds however, did effect me profoundly. I remember the rattling upon the spokes had a very eerie feel as did the ambiance and explosive spurttings of other feedbacks and what not. The room was very dungey, cluttered, and small.

Spark Thoughts

I attended the concert on Saturday where nine to ten different performances occurred over two hours. Unfortunately I can't give specific names of who played what because the schedule was altered; people were performing at different times, there was also an addition, and I forgot a pen. Regardless, my favorite performance was of a girl playing an electric baritone saxophone.

The room went dark and for ten seconds there was nothing but silence. Waiting, we finally hear someone walking on stage and out of the peripheral of my eyes I can see faint ghost like figure approach the center of the stage. Strangely it looks flat. While struggling to make out what we were seeing, a faint but deep metallic moan swelled and two lights peak across the floor from both sides of the stage creating a thin line of light stretching across the stage. In the center the performer is illuminated. She was dressed in white with a saxophone 4 feet long at her side. Every time she plays a note, lights on the ground swell with the sounds. It's as if the instrument is producing some new form of matter that embodies two different spectrums of vibrations. The sounds are exemplified by silence where five to ten second pauses occurred between each new swell of otherworldly noise the saxophone produces.

Part of the performance that left the event even more interesting was not being able to tell if was looking at an actual person on stage. It took me several minutes to realize I was looking at either a projection or someone behind a screen. I do not really have any ideas how it was done. What I do know is, where she was standing is where the stage ended and a curtain was hanging. This is probably why she appeared so ghost like when the room was dark. It was very strange how real and three dimensional she looked when illuminated. The performance by Pramila Vasudevan also used the technology.

There were a few other notable performances with instruments but I enjoyed this one the most for both the unusual visual and auditory experience. The sounds were memorizing and surreal equally with what I was able to see. I found her piece relatable to what I'm trying to accomplish with this latest project; me trying to create an unusual experience with a common instrument. Her performance also left me a bit envious as I would love to have an instrument that created an visual counterpart for each sound it produced.

Spark festival reply: Eric Tanaka

After enjoying a delicious and free meal, I headed over to the gallery space to see the first presentation. It was an odd set up, but the medium was sound art. There were two people working this one, one who seemed to deal with more of the recorded sound/EQ and the other who handled most of the acoustic sounds. At first it seemed weird to use both, and I wondered why they didn't just record all of the sounds, but it made the presentation more interesting and as the presentation progressed, I saw more and more that the set up they had was as acoustic as they could get without adding too many people or it getting too jumbled up. The piece it self was boring at first, there was this weird brief case that "breathed" and there was limited sound, but as it went on the sounds grew and started to compliment each other more. I didn't get the feeling that this was a major breakthrough piece though. It is usually hard for me to get into some pieces but I think the more I learn and grow the more I will understand and appreciate the intricacies of sound art. Or maybe it just wasn't there to begin with. This is just my opinion of the piece, maybe others have something to contribute that I wasn't seeing. The Spark Festival was fun over all, but this year's wasn't as fun or interesting as the other ones I have seen.

Spark Response - Sam

I feel it's incredibly important to support the people organizing and participating in events like the Spark festival. Coordinating, and setting up something like Spark is difficult, time consuming, and draining, which is why I feel so bad about not attending any of the events and helping to make all the work of organizing an awesome event like Spark worthwhile and rewarding. I don't have good excuse other than just being worn-out at the end of the week.
In lieu of an analysis of a Spark event I'll offer instead a philosophy shared with me by one of Friday night's performers, PLCK.
PLCK is Jesse Pollack, a close friend I used to live with, and with whom I frequently work on musical projects.
About a month ago we were preparing for a performance and he was talking about his growing affinity for performance-based techno music. What he said that stuck with me, and I paraphrase, was that this form is appealing to him because he is able to work between performances on constructing and perfecting a singular experience for a specific time and place, and when it's done, it's done, and he and everyone else have one shared experience and can then move on to something new. I don't generally listen to techno, but I found this to be an interesting, and somewhat inspiring idea. I also know that one of PLCK's influences is Jan Jelinek, a particularly interesting German sound-maker, who you can read about and listen to samples of here: http://www.scape-records.de/