Explore "Sounds at the extremes of duration” this First Friday (), with “Chopped & Stretched”, a sound art exhibition at Drift Station Gallery, 1746 N St.
With their strong interest in sound, Gallery Owners Jeff Thompson and Angeles Cossio put together a show featuring 17 sound artists from England, Serbia, and across the United States.
“We face the pragmatic problem of being an artist-run gallery with no budget for shipping,” Thompson said. “We’re interested in exploring alternative means of transmission and dissemination that sees this challenge not as a hindrance, but a chance to try something new.”
Pieces featured in the show include an ultra slow-motion video, the sound of ceramic bells breaking, ultrasonic recordings of insects, and natural sounds slowed down into the range of human hearing.
A contender for slowest piece is Bryant Davis' "1212_40", a circuit-bent electronic instrument meant to mimic Buddhist chanting. Its speed is controlled by a light sensor, so as the sun goes down, the sound gets slower and slower.
Two pieces exemplifying extreme brevity include Diana Salazar's "Colour #1924 (Icy Grape)", made from tiny bits of recordings of the ball in the bottom of a spray paint can. The other is by Pol Malo, a sound and visual artist who records under the name Orange Head. His piece, "Right Into the Sun", was made by cutting up bits of recordings of Japanese children's choirs.
Patrons will be able to hear the sound pieces with iPods, headphones, and through various speakers. You may be able to enjoy what you heard in the future at your leisure by acquiring one of 150 free compilation CDs of all the works in the show. The CDs have hand screen-printed covers made by Lincoln’s Scott Cook, and include an essay by Thompson. The compilation will also be released as a free digital download at www.driftstation.org .
“Chopped & Stretched” also includes two video pieces played on monitors with headphones.
Thompson said the show’s title engages a variety of historical and contemporary music, ranging from John Cage to Curtis Roads, to punk rock, and to a sound collage form called “plunderphonics.” The title also references “chopped & screwed”, a technique of remixing hip-hop developed in Houston in the 90s, marked by slowing down tempo, skipping beats, record scratching, and stop-time.
When asked about their favorite sounds of all time, Thompson cited "anything with lots and lots and lots of reverb, cicadas (the louder the better), and ping pong." Cossio fancies "white noise, seltzer, and his coffee percolating."
Started in the summer of 2010, Drift Station has become known for its innovative exhibitions of art, music, and performance. Thompson and Cossio said they work to create provocative exhibitions challenging the typical gallery format, along with rethinking how art can be transmitted, not transported. They strive to have worldwide artistic projects displayed in locations that may not otherwise have access.
“Drift Station is not a location, but a curatorial activity that sees our primary location in the Midwest of the United States as a challenge rather than a liability,” Thompson said. “Any venue can become Drift Station.”
The “Chopped & Stretched” First Friday reception runs 7-11 p.m. The exhibit will be on display until Oct.1. You can make an appointment to visit the gallery during the month by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are links for each “Chopped & Stretched” artist: