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SOUND INSTALLATION: From the Musical Impulse to the Public Sphere

Artists and curators discuss their work in the field of sound installation and, in particular, how their musical practice translates into an architectural form in public space. These artists' musical practice is very often an experience that relates their own bodies to an instrument or system, which then reaches an audience in real time. How do they translate these immediate corporeal musical interests into sound installation, a mediated form that uses recorded sound rather than live sound, creating an architectural experience for an audience that is often ambient and ambulatory?

Michael Thieke is a clarinetist and composer from Berlin who has been exploring the intricacies and subtleties of his instrument in a number of musical contexts in collaborative and solo situations. Working primarily in the context of rigorous improvisation, he is extremely active with numerous CD releases, concerts, and other projects. Most recently his investigations have expanded into the realm of installations in which the instrument is expanded into space through multichannel playback.

Coppice (Noè Cuellar and Joseph Kramer) is a Chicago-based duet of musicians and sound artists who use bellows and electronics. Since its formation in 2009, Coppice has produced original compositions for stage, fixed media, and performed installation settings, often focusing on decentralized presentation modes, such as multichannel playback, distributing performers throughout a space, etc. Coppice has appeared at a number of U.S. venues and festivals, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and internationally in Iceland, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

Ethan Rose is a sound artist and composer who utilizes methods of interactive composition to explore qualities of materiality, transformation, and perceptual experience through processes of reduction and repositioning. In his performances, installations, film scores, and recorded compositions, Rose’s practice often addresses the position of sound and music within the larger intersections of worldly experience. By inviting a visibly embodied presence into his works, he creates immersive, multisensory experiences that expand out from a notion of the purely sonic.

Amelia Ishmael is a Chicago artist whose practice includes critiquing, historicising, teaching, and curating other artists’ practices. Her areas of specialization include light and sound waves and their intersections in contemporary art. Her recent projects include curating the traveling art exhibition Black Thorns in the White Cube and serving as co-editor and curator of pages for Helvete, a journal of Black Metal theory. She contributes a column on art and music to, and her writings have previously appeared in WIRE, ArtSlant Chicago, Art in Print, and Art Papers. She received a B.F.A. in photography and new media from the Kansas City Art Institute and a master's degree in modern art history, theory, and criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Moderator Lou Mallozzi is an artist, curator, and educator. He is cofounder and executive director of Experimental Sound Studio, a nonprofit sonic arts organization, where he has organized concerts, exhibitions, festivals, radio broadcasts, and other cultural programs, presenting the work of over 500 artists in the past 25 years. His own art practice in the realm of sound includes installations, performances, improvised music, radio works, and sound design for cinema, which he has presented widely in the U.S. and Europe. He is adjunct full professor in the Sound Department of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.



Later Event: September 22