Sound Barrier (2006) - Maia Urstad

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SOUND BARRIER is a new work by Maia Urstad, a sound installation consisting of some 130 CD-and cassette radios assembled as a wall. Visually, these devices function as elements in a structure inspired by historical stone constructions

SOUND BARRIER relates to earlier works such as STATIONS; a sound installation deriving its visual basis from the Roman arch; and CLEOPATRA'S NEEDLES; a concert performance inspired by Pharonic Egyptian structures.

The creative impulses for SOUND BARRIER originate in the historical remains of buildings, i.e., ruins. Technology, here, electronics - a development from our own time, comprises the 'stones'.

The CD-and cassette radios in the installation have a double, visual and conceptual function. On an auditory level they are mediating the sound image implemented in the installation. Visually they are the concrete building blocks, the obvious function in the wall, but they also reflects issues related to the technical development and our culture of consumption.

The CD players in the wall are playback units for a composition of electronically treated sounds borrowed from radio waves, Morse code, FM- and satellite radio etc. Sound signals that also will be obsolete and forgotten sooner than we might expect.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT