Tone and Temperament
Curated by Sophie Landres

Group Show
June 18 - July 18, 2009

AC Institute [Direct Chapel] is pleased to present Tone and Temperament, a group-exhibition that considers the temporal and expandable material of sound. Curated by Sophie Landres and in collaboration with the eight participating artists, this exhibition concentrates on sound as a condition for personal, social, political and metaphysical experience. In addition to the permanent fixtures in the gallery, performances will be scheduled to occur throughout the duration of the exhibition.


Tone and Temperament was conceived as an opportunity to explore literal and conceptual ideas of harmony versus discordance and innocence versus criminality that subsist within the framework of conflicting social norms and art historical precedents. The exhibition was regarded as a conduit for inconclusive experiments in redistricting discursive boundaries and expanding aesthetic properties. Despite sound’s reflexive predilection for interference, the participants created pieces either in response to the exhibition site or with the ambition that their work could co-exist within spatial proximity, without jeopardizing individual content. Though many of the pieces violate prevailing notions of harmony and composition, the refusal to abide is a victimless crime, motivated by a congenial faith in plurality. Allowing sound to flow without bleeding or hemorrhaging, we hope to maintain numerous elements in a constellate connection, free to generate their own alliance of possible meanings.


Chris Bors complicates the act of listening by juxtaposing pop-psychology relaxation techniques with a pop-cultural response to trauma. Jennie C. Jones stretches notes and manipulates tones to reconfigure musical history and exhume emotional content. In a sculpture that references both the harmony of the spheres and the politics of knowledge, Zach Layton uses looping phase structures to create an internally conflicting “chamber music” of the self. Audio recordings and corresponding images by Terry Nauheim describe imagined and site-specific geographies and measure the physical form of sounds against their content, examining how memory and objects are equally subject to decay. Exploring the theory of electronic voice phenomena Daniel Perlin recreates Thomas Edison’s lost schemata to build a telephone that can speak with the dead. Through the visualization and sonification of Arctic data and electromagnetic lightening transmissions, Andrea Polli and Joe Gilmore express the fragility and interconnectedness of the global ecosystem. Mike Skinner enlists the viewer’s body in acts of compositional terrorism, working with mirrors and parabolic reverberating sine waves to demonstrate how the occupation of space can be an oppositional force.




About the Artists:


Sophie Landres is an independent curator and arts writer. She was the 2007 guest curator for the Catskill Art Society (Livingston Manor, NY), was chosen for the CUE Art Foundation Young Art Critic Program in 2008 and was recently the Director of Mireille Mosler Ltd. (both New York City). Landres holds an MA in Art Criticism and Writing from the School of Visual Arts (New York City) and a BA in Political Science from the University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA). Prior to enrollment in graduate school, she was the Director of Naked Duck Gallery and facilitated various art projects throughout her tenure, such as designing the set for Dance and Process at The Kitchen and founding an after-school gallery guide program for third grade students (all New York City). She has curated exhibitions at 3rd Ward and Supreme Trading and Art in General (both New York City) and Catskill Art Society Gallery (Livingston Manor, NY). Her writing has been published in Modern Painters, HE Magazine, Degree Critical, the Performa07 Biennial catalogue, MAKE and the New York Foundation for the Arts NYFA Current Magazine. She currently serves on Art in General’s Education Advisory Panel and is a contributing arts editor for MAKE.


Chris Bors, Tranquility, 2009
In this work the artist reads the lyrics from Slayer’s Reign in Blood, widely considered the best thrash metal album of all time, over appropriated relaxation music downloaded from an online health and wellness store.

Bors is a New York-based artist whose work has been exhibited at PS1 MoMA, White Columns, Envoy Gallery, Sixtyseven (Thierry Goldberg Projects), Heist Gallery and Ten in One Gallery (all New York City), Casino Luxembourg (Luxembourg) and the Videoex Festival (Zurich). Reviews and publications include The New York Times, Time Out New York, Vogue Italia, K48 and zingmagazine.


Jennie C. Jones, MEMOREX: Authenticity, Technology, Blackness and Jouissance, 2009
Jones’ practice is bo­­th a comment on and a continuation of the conceptual ideology of jazz, an honoring of the deep radical legacy of its experimentation, of hybrid modernist forms, wit and the concept of riff. She attempts a merger of art history and black history within the realm of the abstract languages they construct. Consequently, Jones’ work occupies a unique space in that it aims to examine the cultural intersections of music, theory, art and gadgetry. Her practice is also a search for neo-modernism. These notions are manifested through multi-disciplinary pieces that incorporate sound, sculpture, works on paper and site-based projects.


Jones attended the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where she received her Masters of Fine Art. Prior to that she attended The School of the Art Institute of Chicago as a fellowship student, receiving a Bachelors of Fine Art. Over the past decade she has participated in numerous artist residencies and fellowship programs including: The Liguria Study Center for the Arts & Humanities Fellow (Genoa); Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris); The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Residency at the World Trade Center (New York City); and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Skowhegan, ME). Her Artists Space (New York City) project Simply Because You’re Near Me was reviewed by Holland Cotter in The New York Times (February 10, 2006). In 2007 she had her first solo exhibition, Recomposing (Berlin), and participated in the group show Black Light/White Noise: Sound and Light in Contemporary Art at the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston. Her upcoming exhibition opens at the Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta this June. In 2008 she was a fellow at the Red, Bird, Blue Rockefeller Foundation’s Study Center in Bellagio, Italy, as well as a visiting artist at The American Academy in Rome. She is a 2008 Creative Capital Grant Recipient and the recipient of a William H. Johnson Award. She has works in the prestigious Deutsche Bank collection and in the collection of the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges.


Zach Layton, Chamber Music, 2009
Layton is a composer, curator, guitarist and video artist based in Brooklyn with an interest in biofeedback, generative algorithms, experimental music and improvisation. His work investigates complex relationships and topologies created through the interaction of simple core elements like sine waves, minimal surfaces and kinetic visual patterns.


Layton’s work has been performed by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony and he has performed and exhibited at The Kitchen, Roulette, Joe’s Pub, Diapason, Issue Project Room, Eyebeam, Bushwick Arts Project, St. Mark’s Ontological Theater, DUMBO Arts Festival, New York Digital Salon, Miguel Abreu Gallery, Participant Inc., Monkeytown, Sculpture Center, Harvestworks Mixology Festival (all New York City), Art Forum Electronic Art Festival (Berlin and New York), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco) and many other international venues. He has worked and collaborated with Luke Dubois, Vito Acconci, Jonas Mekas, Joshua White, Tony Conrad, Bradley Eros, Andy Graydon, Nick Hallett, Matthew Ostrowski, Christine Bard, Alex Waterman, Michael Evans, Patrick Hambrect, Angie Eng, Adam Kendall, Chika Ijima, Tristan Perich and Ray Sweeten among many other artists, filmmakers, curators, musicians and friends. Layton is also founder of Brooklyn’s monthly experimental music series, Darmstadt: Classics of the Avant-Garde co-Curated with Nick Hallett, a co-Curator and Producer of the PS1 Warmup music series and is the Managing and Technical Director of Issue Project Room. He has received grants from the Netherlands America Foundation, Turbulence, Experimental Television Center and the Jerome Foundation. Layton is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where he is also currently an Adjunct Professor.


Terry Nauheim, Propagation Seems Good Here Tonight, 2009 / Rotation (in Four Movements), 2005-2006
In Propagation Seems Good Here Tonight, animated drawings correspond with shortwave radio transmissions recorded in the AC gallery spaces. Imagery alters between illumination and dimness as if to sift through an atmosphere of random noise in the universe. This unpredictable environment, among its degrees of murk and clarity, propagates waves that bend, stretch, open, close, pack together and break apart. Rotation (in Four Movements) is a multi-channel audio/single channel video installation built from recorded and processed sound fragments of hand-cast record negatives and their corresponding recorded drawings.


Nauheim explores sound and visual relationships through digital media, drawing and installation. She has exhibited her artwork at the Bronx Museum of the Arts; the Contemporary Museum (Baltimore); Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts (Wilmington); the Drawing Room (London); Musée d’Art Contemporain (Lyon); and the Sculpture Center (Long Island City). Her work has been included in festivals including the acclaimed New York, New Sounds Festival; New York Electronic Art Festival; Artscape (Baltimore); and Biennale Musique en Scène (Lyon). She was recently distinguished as an Artist-in-Residence in Sound Art at Harvestworks (New York City, 2005); a participant in the Bronx Museum of the Arts “Artist in the Marketplace” program (2003); and a recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council Individual New Genre Artist award (2002). Her work has been featured in publications including those from Rhizome, art@radio and in Link: Science/Technology/Innovation in the Arts and Nomads Audiophile. In addition to producing her work, Ms. Nauheim teaches Computer Arts as a faculty member at New York Institute of Technology. She sits on the Board of Directors of NYC ACM Siggraph and was chair of 2008 NYC Metropolitan Area College Computer Animation Festival (MetroCAF). Terry Nauheim received her MFA in mixed media/digital arts at the University of Maryland and BFA in painting at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri where she received a William Fett Drawing Award. She has also managed museum projects at the Contemporary Museum and the Walters Art Museum (both Baltimore).


Daniel Perlin, Telephone to speak with the dead, 2009
From 1922 until his death in 1931, Thomas Alva Edison worked on a telephone designed to speak with the dead. Upon Edison’s death, the plans as well as the phone he had designed disappeared. Searches were held both at Menlo Park as well as at his parent’s home in Ohio. It is thought his assistants hid or protected the work as it has never been found. After research, finally, in 2009, his patent application schematics were discovered and the phone has been rebuilt. When properly used, it has been proven to speak with voices from beyond.


Perlin is an artist and sound designer based in New York City. He works across media creating sound, video, objects and installations. His work has been shown at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Chelsea Art Museum, Guggenheim Film, Postmaster’s Gallery, D’Amelio Terras (all New York City), TN Probe (Tokyo), Yautepec Gallery (Mexico City), Temporary Contemporary Gallery (London) and the Centre Pompidou (Paris). Recently, he has collaborated with Natalie Jermijenko on the installation For the Birds for the 2006 Whitney Biennial, Rem Koolhaas and Sanford Kwinter on the installation of Mutations and with Vito Acconci on the public sound installation Viraphone (Madrid). He has also been the sound designer for such films as Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy, Errol Morris’ Fog Of War and Phil Morrison’s Junebug. In 2006 he completed a residency as studio artist at the Whitney Independent Study program.


Andrea Polli and Joe Gilmore, N., 2007
Polli is a digital media artist living in New Mexico. Her work addresses issues related to science and technology in contemporary society. She is interested in global systems, the real time interconnectivity of these systems and the effect of these systems on individuals. N. is a collaborative sound and visual installation by Andrea Polli (USA) and Joe Gilmore (UK) with scientific collaborator Dr. Patrick Market (USA) which takes weather monitoring data gathered from research stations in the Arctic to build an audio-visual representation of the altering climate and conditions at the North Pole.


Polli’s work with science, technology and media has been presented widely in over 100 presentations, exhibitions and performances internationally. Moreover Polli’s work has been recognized by numerous grants, residencies and awards including UNESCO. Her work has been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Art News and NY Arts among others. She has published two book chapters, several audio CDs, DVDs and many papers in print including those found in MIT Press and Cambridge University Press journals.


Gilmore is a UK based artist and designer and the co-creator of rand, a generative station. rand is entirely automated, where every program transmitted is composed in realtime by computer. His work has been presented throughout Europe including the Ars Electronica Festival (Linz, Austria).


Mike Skinner, Bullets, 2009
Using analog staccato blasts and reflective surfaces Skinner utilizes the psychology of localization to exploit the ordinary sound source/sound receiver relationship. His bullets of sound can appear to generate from ordinary household materials such as mirrors and doors.


Utilized in this work, Holosonic Research Labs, Inc. develops and manufactures the Audio Spotlight® directional sound system which creates focused beams of sound by using a narrow beam of ultrasound as a “virtual” sound source. While ultrasound is outside the range of human hearing, this technique causes the air itself to change the ultrasound’s “shape” as it travels, leading to the creation of clear sound that can be directed to a precise location.


Skinner is a sound artist, record producer and drummer. Production credits include those for Scott Matthew, Kevin Devine, Vito Acconci, War Slut, The New Humans, Onelinedrawing among others. He has worked as a producer for Performa’s Commission series since their first biennial in 2005 and in 2007 was the Director of Multimedia Installations at the Park Avenue Armory extension of the Whitney Biennial (both New York City) where he produced works by Marina Rosenfeld, Kembra Phaler and many others. Sound design and composition credits for artists/dancers include, Ugo Rondinone, James Drake, Glen Fogel, Helena Fredriksson, Jeremy Wade and Olof Persson. In 2006 Skinner was awarded a Jerome Foundation compositional grant which culminated in an hour-long performance of his 8_Track_Attack series at Roulette (New York City).


Image courtesy Daniel Perlin (Telephone to Speak with the Dead).