[To follow on from some of what philip said, but more as a direct response
to beryl's initial questions about siting audible art...]
A group/mixed show environment incorporating audible components really
offers up a challenge for the curatorially inclined amongst us, whether it
be in our more obvious institutional spaces, or alternative and other
ones... In many ways the difficulties of introducing sound into such
contexts only serves to highlight fundamental curatorial concerns that apply
to presenting any collection of artworks
Rather than simply assembling mundane exhibitions that group artworks by
medium, available wall space or whether they respond to the theme of 'The
Sea' (for example), the considerable problems posed when wanting to show
noisy things alongside object things or video, or painting or sculpture or
whatever, provides an opportunity for curators to really show skill,
personal vision and sensitivity.
Once you accept that sound is virtually impossible to contain (on most
artworld budgets anyway :) and doesn't work on an, 'out of sight out of
mind' basis unless at very low levels or presented through headphones, you
can start to accommodate that leakage and allow artworks to feed
off/complement each other.
Just as we all know that viewing different paintings side by side effects
the reading of each individual work, allowing sounds to combine with other
work, or even to construct moments where two sound works will layer,
counterpoint or harmonise with one another are all issues that can be
configured, engineered or (more to the point) curated.
It's a far from easy task, but surely it is possible to bring works together
(with consent of course) that when viewed, watched, used and heard in
careful overlapping proximities would each and all be seen at their best
*because* of the way in which it was all curated and not despite it
I for one, would far rather see all the myriad strands of contemporary art
practice (sound included) curated and combined with personal vision and less
often by committee.
_Thomson & Craighead
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