Sound Escapes

This event has now finished. Until Aug 15 2009

Nikolaus Gansterer, 'Eden Experiment' Nikolaus Gansterer, 'Eden Experiment'

Time Out says  

Posted: Thu Aug 6 2009

Living in this city of ours - this heaving, thrumming half-undone organism with its cracking joints and groaning bowels - noise is quite likely a major bane. Sometimes it seems that even the birds are piping and bellowing inorganically to compete with the din of humanity and its machines. The exhibition 'Sounds Escapes' emerged from a forum that aimed to counter this attitude to sound in the built environment, to approach it as a positive area of academic interdisciplinary enquiry.

Among what appears a convoluted series of events, projects and texts, the artworks have evolved through artists' research-based practices that focus on audio and environmental research institutions, as well as the 'acoustic commons' of public space. Dan Holdsworth's majestic photograph, 'No Echo' frames the hardware of audio technology - in this case a sound-absorbing anechoic wall - as a bristling abstraction, while Thomson & Craighead's computer programme, which analyses voices input from a telephone line as 'excited', 'stressed', 'uncertain' and so on, drolly rehumanises the speaking clock.

Audio and technology, it seems, have become inexorably intertwined in our perception of noise. Peter Cusack's 'Soundscape Sequencer' enables the user to digitally reconfigure the composite elements of a square in Manchester, pulling forward the bell toll or moving the dustcarts to the left in surround-sound, and Nikolaus Gansterer affects a biological experiment by bombarding plants with Bach or death metal in what looks like life-support machinery. What this produces, however, is an exhibition cacophonic with equipment and diagrammatic imagery that, rather than repealing our aversion to dehumanised noise, threatens to bolster and even amplify it.

The Triangle details

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