“Today, [noise] is unavoidable, as if, in a world devoid of meaning, a background noise were increasingly necessary to give people a sense of security.” - Jacques Attali, “Noise: The Political Economy of Music”
Our Best Machines Are Made of Sunshine is a 4-channel surround sound installation that includes 24 speakers of audio sourced from two directional microphones mounted in front of the gallery. The microphones record the sonic patterns of automobile traffic, public transportation and pedestrians on a busy street outside the gallery. The audio is then processed live and spatialized into an all-encompassing soundscape that is housed in a matrix of white quilted vinyl and custom designed trapezoidal prism shaped speakers that whitewash the gallery walls.
By replacing the white cube of the gallery with a white cube of my own making, Our Best Machines Are Made Of Sunshine teases out the irony of fascist strains within utopianism while creating a disjunction with the inhabitable world. The work visually references a gap between the lived experience of barebones environments such as sensory deprivation tanks and anechoic chambers, as well as Brutalist architecture and the aspirational rhetoric that surrounded its production.
A sensory disconnection occurs through the audio that simultaneously acts as an acoustic surveillance of the exterior environment and an escape into an abstraction of those sounds. I am interested in how the noise patterns of a city reflect natural rhythms and how noise can be perceived and manipulated to create an atmosphere of comfort and stability or invoke anxiety and oppression. Though this piece I propose to question our experience of sound though architecture and the hierarchical systems that these structures represent.
Our Best Machines Are Made of Sunshine was funded by the San Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity Grant Program through an Individual Artist Commission.
Throughout the run of the show performances took place inside the installation utilizing the 4.2 channel sound system.
Thursday, October 29th
Sutekh - contex.fm
Joshua Churchill - joshuachurchill.com
Virobot - swezlex.com
Thursday, November 5th
Gregg Kowalsky - greggkowalsky.net
Luuse & Fun Santa Maria - Randy Lee Sutherland/Steven Santa Maria
Thursday, November 12
Wobbly - detritus.net/wobbly
Nate Boyce and Greg Zifcak - nateboyce.net / eatstapes.com/gzifcak