The History of the Universe through Listening

Ever heard the sound of a radio storm between Jupiter and its moon Io? Follow this link to listen for yourself.
 
In this 12 minute TED Talk by the Artist-technologist Honor Harger she describes how listening to the noises of stars and planets and pulsars have informed our knowledge of the universe. In her own work, she tracks the radio waves emitted by ancient celestial objects and turns them into sound, including “the oldest song you will ever hear,” the sound of cosmic rays left over from the Big Bang.

Naked Shapes

Domaine de Boisbuchet
Les Formes Nues - Naked Shapes 25/06 - 09/10/11, Domaine de Boisbuchet

I don’t usually post about design here, but in this case I can’t resist. The exhibition Naked Shapes opens June 25 at Domaine de Boisbuchet, a country estate in the Southwest of France that is renowned as an international site of experimentation in design and architecture.

Below is the description that caught my attention, not to mention the simplicity and beauty of the pieces on view. Due to necessity and scarcity, these everyday objects are so efficiently formed, that they are symbolic and iconic. So simple, beautiful and elegant, perhaps even close to some kind of perfection.

“Naked Shapes focuses on the period during and after the Second World War, when there was a severe shortage of materials in Japan. One of the few metals that could be easily recycled was scrap aluminum from U.S. combat planes. The Japanese turned this into various household goods such as kettles, hot water bottles, chairs, baby rattles and more. Most of these objects were produced in small local factories and by individual artisans: industrial designers did not exist. These goods were produced out of necessity, which kept their design to a minimum.”

More here

Museum of Non-Visible Art (MONA)

The Non-Visible Museum is an extravaganza of imagination, a museum that reminds us that we live in two worlds: the physical world of sight and the non-visible world of thought. Composed entirely of ideas, the Non-Visible Museum redefines the concept of what is real. Although the artworks themselves are not visible, the descriptions open our eyes to a parallel world built of images and words. This world is not visible, but it is real, perhaps more real, in many ways, than the world of matter, and it is also for sale.

I like the idea of MONA but I do hope that they expand their idea of what is non-visible art to include sound, smell and touch. If they just stick to narrative, that will be boring! If they just keep it at ideas, how will this be anything new that builds on the history of conceptual art? Anyhow, the project is new so no need to pass judgment this early in its creation. They are currently raising funds and inviting interested people to join a mailing list.

In 2009, with the artist Sandhya Khumar, I created an artwork made from a sound recording of an iconic SF Bay two-tone foghorn – one that hasn’t played for over 25 years. Little has been done to preserve foghorn sounds yet they’ve had huge impact on the sound aesthetic of San Francisco and other cities for 100 years. The reason I bring this up is that the formation of MONA reminds me of this sound recording and how we were able to auction it off for nearly $300 at a live auction in 2009, part of the Radical Practices Live Auction Series in San Francisco.

Invisibe art at its best

This piece “Column of Earth and Air” by Mark Brest van Kempen is one of my favorites. It is eloquent and potent at the same time. Simple and sophisticated. An invisible sculpture that creates a public space free of laws and jurisdiction. An invisible monument to free speech.

read more here

Sonic Ephemera. Find #1

In 2010 progress was made in organizing the Studio Ju Ju archives for the “pop” projects Zola Turn, Bad Ju Ju and Salon Pod. In 2011 the formal cataloging will begin.

zola turn poster 1996, burlington vermont
Sub Rosa (Zola Turn) and Wide Wail. Poster for Last Elm Café gig, January 13, 1996

I’ll periodically post these images from the past.

Here is a poster from 1996 for a show that we played with Wide Wail at the Last Elm Café. For about the first six months of our existence, Zola Turn was called Sub Rosa. A few months after this show, we found out that there was a Boston band named Sub Rosa made up of lawyers. We decided it would be best to change our name to something more original, hence Zola Turn.