Sound Art's Bright Sparks
3 December 2012
A lot of images you may be seeing for the upcoming Winter Sparks exhibition at FACT, illustrate the visual spectacle of the artworks - the leaping arcs of electricity, the sparks of light - but they do not convey one of the major elements in the show: the sound. All of the artists involved in the show are not only attempting to create a visual spectacle, but aim to increase their works' immersivity and immediacy by making the most of the sound which it creates, and which the visitors will experience in various different ways.
Edwin van der Heide
Occupying the entirety of Gallery 1 on the ground floor is Evolving Spark Network. This piece is created by Edwin van der Heide, a composer of sound and space, whose work aims to submerge the visitor into an alternative, bristling environment alive with both visual and sonic stimuli; pouring over participants in alternating, enthralling waves. His live performances as well as static installations aim to transport and mesmerise, to fascinate and captivate, and this is only made possible by the additional element of sound.
To celebrate the opening of Winter Sparks on 13 December, Edwin will present a one-off sound performance in The Box.
Bosch & Simons
Peter Bosch and Simone Simons, inspired by Nikola Tesla's experiments in resonation, make vibratory structures and sculptures which engage with ideas of unpredictability, order and chaos. They are mainly interested in the manipulation and behaviour of frequencies and the ways in which systems of vibrations can change by themselves, and affect one another.
Their constructions use household and everyday objects, which are given a whole new life simply with the addition of oscillating motors. Chairs, bottles, and wooden crates are turned into objects which now possess movement, sound and a different frequency than that of their former static state. Wilberforces, their work for Winter Sparks, utilises this approach as well as connecting directly to more recognisable sonic outputs; the springs which constitute the pendulum are loaded with both a handheld video camera and a speaker, which record the movement of the springs and the resulting shifts in focus of the attached documenting-objects.
Bosch & Simons will also be hosting a special Vibrations Workshop on Saturday 15 December where you can join them to experiment with making moving sculptures using reclaimed furniture, motors and household items.
In Gallery 2, Alexandre Burton's work Impacts consists of five tesla coils, which throw their arcs of electricity across planes of glass in an audience-activated, stunning showcase of synaesthesia: where all of the senses merge to impress the magnitude of the experience upon the visitor. This space will be filled with reaching fronds of light, the crackling created by the field of static, and the unmistakable scent of storms, all emanating from the fascinating tesla coils, harnessed by Burton's self-authored custom software. The hiss and snap of electric charges is unmistakable and is what lends Impacts its science-lab, bristling, Gothic air.