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Sounds Surround Us

By Rhizome

We live in a remix culture. Our modes of communication are, to some extent, predetermined by software and interfaces that presuppose a tendency to copy and paste. Musicians' remixes are often released simultaneous to the original track, now, and even the word 'remix' has attached itself to the name of soft drinks, food products, cinematic sequels, and other cultural artifacts. Arguably, this condition has been perpetuated by digital artists, from pioneering DJ's to filmmakers, to net artists. The conditions of remix culture form the basis of the SOUND//BYTES_ exhibition on view through April 15 at the Edith Russ Site for Media Art, in Oldenburg, Germany. The show features installations, performances, presentations, acoustic walks and interventions in the City of Oldenburg which 'offer the visitor manifold possibilities to question echoes, sounds, rhythms, frequencies and electro-magnetic fields and to perceive everyday situations acoustically in a new way.' The artists' works help us to rethink what constitutes a unit of sound, and the ontologies, politics, and aesthetics of the ways in which these 'sound bytes' work together. Jens Brand, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Yunchul Kim, Thomas Koner, Christina Kubisch, Akitsugu Maebayashi, Kaffee Matthews, micromusic, and Annina Rust present projects that employ laptops, gameboys, electromagnetic fields, record players, GPS readers, radar, ASCII code, radar, a metronome, and other devices to capture and transmit sonic phenomena often overlooked and under-recorded. Together they not only rethink acoustic space, they also contribute to a new environment in which to consider the social life of sound. - Marisa Olson

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