Back to All Events

AUDIBLE GALLERY: Bielak / Schmalz: 'Fourth Horizon'

Fourth Horizon is a meditation on living in a city with water as a constant eastern horizon. Inspired by a theater stage constructed over water and an early commercial radio broadcast of a telepathy experiment, the exhibition explores the relation between the built and natural environments—and the spaces for imagination, connection, and alienation in daily urban life. Fourth Horizon incorporates sculpture, video, text, and sound into a process-based installation that meets Chicago at the shore of Lake Michigan.

The project opens with a video of a model theater stage “floating” off the shore of the lake. The empty stage, set for a production with scrims of a rocky shore, acts as both prop and protagonist. An accompanying sound installation combines acoustic and electronic music with voices to populate the stage with a radio telepathy experiment’s prompts and responses.

Through a series of public events over the course of the exhibition, musicians, artists, and audiences will interact with the installation to expand the parameters of the work itself. In the process, the project will question our own relationship to buildings, bodies, natural environments, and the nature of sound transmission.

Curated by Lou Mallozzi.

Gallery Hours

Saturdays & Sundays, 1-5pm
or by appointment



Friday April 15, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Opening Reception, “
There is More Beyond”

Come sound across the void at the opening reception for “Fourth Horizon,” where attendees have the chance to record their own responses to the exhibition’s telepathy experiment, “There is more beyond.”
Sunday April 24, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Spontaneous Cases of Telepathic Communication

You wake and realize last night's dream has come to pass. That itch in your gut—the one that anticipates a falling plane or a house fire, the one that foretells a windfall, or your next breakup—prepares you for signals from the beyond.

Susy Bielak and Fred Schmalz present a performance of their textual scores to spontaneous cases of telepathic communication with a live mix by Damon Locks.

Sunday, May 8, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Bodies of the City

A cross between karaoke and guided meditation, this program invites audience members to form a virtual chorus, performing a pair of text readings live in the studio, which will be layered electronically into a mass broadcast.

Sunday, May 15, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Fourth Horizon: Afternoon for Improvisers

Improvising musicians respond to Fourth Horizon live in the gallery. Performers will include cellist Seth Parker Woods, electronic musician Ted Gordon, percussionist Adam Vida with guitarist Tim Stine, and guitarist William Mazzarella.


Sound design in collaboration with Stephan Moore

Installation sound provided by: Ted Gordon, RB Green, Jeremy Harris, Eric Kjensrud, William Mazzarella, Joseph Clayton Mills, Stephan Moore, Protarco, Adam Vida, Seth Parker Woods.

Voiced by: Matthew Corey, Jamie Hayes, Alejandro Figueredo-Diaz, Dianna Frid, Cara Meghan Lewis, Damon Locks, Jessica Love, Nuria Montiel, William Mazzarella, Ira Murfin, Claire Rice, Ellen Rothenberg, Eben Saling, Holly Warren, David Macey.

Video production:

Meredith Zielke, director of production; Calum Michel Walter, Rodrigo Brum, Lyle Kash, and Julia Pello, cameras; Lauren Nichols and Britain Wilcock, stage design and construction; Hasan Demirtas, Michael Garrity, Raul Jaimes, Lyle Kash, Nicole Mauser, and Greg Mrowka, crew.

Special thanks to Stephan Moore and the team at ESS, including Sandra Binion, Lou Mallozzi, Ralph Loza, and Adam Vida.

About the Artists

Susannah Bielak creates narratives that straddle the historical and contemporary. Researching paradoxical situations and uncanny relationships that she encounters in personal and public life, Bielak responds to social issues with material experimentation and collaborative practices. Bielak’s projects have ranged from a happening staged on a seismic shake table, to prints pulled from engraved Formica kitchen tabletops. Collaborators have included rodeo cowboys, bus drivers, a veteran barbershop quartet, choreographers and engineers. Bielak’s work has been exhibited and collected nationally and internationally, including by the International Print Center, Luis Adelantado Mexico, San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, St. Paul Mayor’s Office, and Walker Art Center. Awards include the Highpoint Jerome Fellowship, Jerome Visual Arts Fellowship, Minnesota Center for Book Arts Jerome Fellowship, Prometheus Award, and UC MEXUS Dissertation Award. Her artwork and writing have been published in New American Paintings, Art Papers, and for the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. Bielak received her MFA from the University of California San Diego.

Fred Schmalz is a poet whose recent work focuses on textual response to encounters with dance, music, and visual art. His writing has appeared in magazines including A Public Space, jubilat, Spinning Jenny, Conduit, Zoland Poetry, Pinwheel, Another Chicago Magazine, and Chicago Artists Resource, and he has performed in a variety of contexts, collaborating with dancers, artists, musicians, and performers. His field guide Claes Oldenburg's Festival of Living Objects was published in conjunction with a series of gallery walks by the Walker Art Center in 2013. He is the author of the chapbooks documenta 13 Daybook and Ticket. He edits and publishes the micropress Swerve Press.