Sound Art in New York City

What is sound art? How do we experience it?  What makes sound… art?  A recent exhibition at Brooklyn’s Diapason Gallery – the only gallery in New York devoted to sound art – gives us a cacophony of clues to answer these questions.

David Grubbs, Director of Brooklyn College’s graduate program in Performance and Interactive Media Arts, talks below about the exhibition and the rise of sound art.  Grubbs is a musician and has collaborated on sound art projects for over 20 years.

The exhibition titled Non-Cochlear Sound seeks to broaden our experiences of art and sound. The exhibition explores sound as an artistic medium of interaction between two things, “stick with skin, wheel with street, wind with grass,” says the press release. Non-cochlear implies, almost paradoxically, sound not associated with the ear.  By this curator Seth Kim-Cohen says he seeks to expand the idea of sound in art, emphasizing interaction over the resulting sound.

A set of drums is tipped from a wheelbarrow down two flights of warehouse stairs, the journey of a box is recorded going from A to B.  This is the interaction of sound art.  Listen on for more.

Seth Kim-Cohen, Critique of Instrumental Reason (by use of the drums), 2010. Photo Jennifer Hamblett

What is sound art?

[audio:http://cdn.journalism.cuny.edu/blogs.dir/18/files/2010/11/What-is-sound-Art_1-2.mp3|titles=What is sound art?]

Is sound art relevant? How is it made and experienced today?

[audio:http://cdn.journalism.cuny.edu/blogs.dir/18/files/2010/11/Why-is-it-relevant_1-2.mp3|titles=Why is it relevant?_1-2]

Exploring the exhibition…missing work?

[audio:http://cdn.journalism.cuny.edu/blogs.dir/18/files/2010/11/Seths-Piece_1-2.mp3|titles=Seths Piece_1-2]

Recording of Seth Kim-Cohen’s, Critique of Instrumental Reason (By use of the drums) 2010

[audio:http://cdn.journalism.cuny.edu/blogs.dir/18/files/2010/11/Natural-Sound_Seths_1-2.mp3|titles=Natural Sound_Seths_1-2]
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