Sound in exhibitions

Posted by Seth Thompson | Thu Nov 18th 2004 6:20 a.m.

Hi,

The use of sound is sometimes very controversial within a museum
exhibition--especially when multiple works have a sound element. I
was wondering if you could describe some of the innovative ways that
museums and galleries have handled sound within a museum/gallery
environment without compromising the works. Please let me know at
your earliest convenience. Thanks in advance.

Best wishes,

Seth Thompson
--
Seth Thompson
Wigged Productions
seththompson@wigged.net
http://www.wigged.net
  • ryan griffis | Fri Nov 19th 2004 12:30 a.m.
    The Beall Center at UC Irvine has used (clear) plastic inverted domes
    (suspended from the ceiling), fitted with speakers, for limiting the
    range of sound for installations that need to be controlled or are
    visually/conceptually tied to a specific space in the gallery.
    ryan

    On Nov 18, 2004, at 5:20 AM, Seth Thompson wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > The use of sound is sometimes very controversial within a museum
    > exhibition--especially when multiple works have a sound element. I
    > was wondering if you could describe some of the innovative ways that
    > museums and galleries have handled sound within a museum/gallery
    > environment without compromising the works. Please let me know at
    > your earliest convenience. Thanks in advance.
  • Marisa Olson | Fri Nov 19th 2004 12:40 p.m.
    The safest bet, for me, has always been to build separate "rooms" for works with sound, or to place things with sound as far from each other as possible. I suppose that's a bit obvious, though. Not as thoughtful as the Beall..

    When the artist is ok with it, I frequently offer headphones for, say, video pieces with an important sound component.

    If it is appropriate, it is also nice to offer sound recordings in catalogues, so that pieces can be listened to in different spaces & contexts.

    Of course, the issue is complicated. How site-specific is the work? What "embodiment" or "immersion" conditions does it ask for? How reasonable is it (not) to separate the sound from the "rest" of the peice, by capturing & distributing recordings?

    Marisa

    ryan griffis <grifray@yahoo.com> wrote:
    The Beall Center at UC Irvine has used (clear) plastic inverted domes
    (suspended from the ceiling), fitted with speakers, for limiting the
    range of sound for installations that need to be controlled or are
    visually/conceptually tied to a specific space in the gallery.
    ryan

    On Nov 18, 2004, at 5:20 AM, Seth Thompson wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > The use of sound is sometimes very controversial within a museum
    > exhibition--especially when multiple works have a sound element. I
    > was wondering if you could describe some of the innovative ways that
    > museums and galleries have handled sound within a museum/gallery
    > environment without compromising the works. Please let me know at
    > your earliest convenience. Thanks in advance.

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  • Kevin Hamilton | Fri Nov 19th 2004 1:08 p.m.
    I would throw in that you should avoid those new "hypersonic directional"
    speakers - we bought a couple to play sound art here - not only do they
    sound like crap but it creeps me out that the military uses them at higher
    power to split heads in riot control and such.

    Kevin Hamilton
    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
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