The Ears Have Walls: A Survey of Sound Games
Curated by Chaz Evans & Stephan Moore
December 1, 2017 - February 25, 2018
An exhibition spanning two locations:
VGA Gallery: 2418 W Bloomingdale Ave #102
Experimental Sound Studio's Audible Gallery: 5925 N Ravenswood Ave
Vernissage @ Experimental Sound Studio: Thursday, November 30, 6-9pm
Opening reception @ VGA Gallery: Friday, December 1, 5-8pm
VGA Gallery public viewing hours: Wednesdays 5-8pm/Sundays 12-5pm
ESS Audible Gallery public viewing hours: Sundays 1-5pm or by appointment.
Please contact email@example.com to schedule an Audible Gallery viewing
Human awareness of space is a constant negotiation between many senses—hearing, vision, and proprioception. Underneath our primary focus on the visible world, our ears, minds, and tactile faculties constantly play in an economy of attention; favoring some sounds over others, registering the physical dimensions of our surroundings, distinguishing voices from background atmosphere, or filtering everything out except one critical auditory message. The sonic world is oversaturated with options, and we constantly parse through them, seeking cues to significant occurrences, with a listening attention that is both deliberate and involuntary.
The artworks in The Ears Have Walls are video games that experiment with those economies by inverting the ratio of attention between the screen and the speakers. In doing so, they assign audio to a lead role instead of merely a support for video or a confirmation of transmitted commands. As an under-recognized, but longstanding, genre in video games, sound games offer frameworks and pose questions that help us better understand and develop new strategies for listening; especially for a historical moment where listening is integrated with electronic media as a constitutive part of everyday experience.
The artworks in this exhibition span all levels of video game production, from solo practitioners like David Kanaga and his dog opera Oikospiel Book #1, to international studio productions like Masaya Matsuura's PaRappa the Rapper, originally released for Sony Playstation in 1996. This is the first dual-gallery exhibition between VGA Gallery and Experimental Sound Studio. This new collaboration is an effort to foster connections between Chicago's video game and sound production communities.
Including work by:
- Robin Arnott
- Michael T. Astolfi and Aaron Rasmussen
- Copenhagen Games Collective
- Paloma Dawkins
- Cipher Prime
- David Kanaga and Fernando Ramallo
- Rob Lach
- Masaya Matsuura and NanaOn-Sha
- Bill Parod
- Scott Smallwood
- Somethin' Else
@ VGA Gallery, 2418 W Bloomingdale Ave #102, Chicago, IL, 60647 & Experimental Sound Studio Audible Gallery, 5925 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60660
VGA Gallery is generously supported by The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, individuals, and private and corporate foundations
Audible Gallery at ESS is a 400 square foot project space focusing on intimate exhibitions that feature or are somehow driven by sound as medium, subject, or a cultural force. Exhibitions are curated by the ESS staff or by other curators and partner organizations focusing on intersections of sound, media, and culture.
GALLERY HOURS: SUNDAYS, 1-5PM, OR BY APPOINTMENT
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Previous Exhibitions & Events
Join us on a tour of sites connected to Filament Surge, a mobile app created by Bill Parod for geo-located, spatialized sound pieces. Participants will have an opportunity to experience the app at each site and hear more about the context of its creation.
The Ears Have Walls features video game art that assigns audio to a lead role instead of merely a support for video or a confirmation of transmitted commands. Curated by Stephan Moore and Chaz Evans, The Ears Have Walls is an exhibition spanning two location, with work on view at both ESS and VGA Gallery.
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