An exhibition simultaneously heard, seen and experienced in space

There’s always a beginning. This will be my sketchbook of ideas; those are what I know best. Ideas seldom acquire a realization, but on the other hand, without them nothing would really ever happen.

The first one I want to catch in writing is about an exhibition, where art is simultaneously heard, seen and experienced in space. This vision is about seven years old now. It came to me in a dream when I was studying in Vienna. I do my best trying to explain what I saw:

My dream is an exhibition that holds or runs a story in itself. This is of course nothing new, except that the “in-itself” aspect reaches a lot further.

All the items in the exhibition run through each other (at least in concept). If one item is dependent of certain lighting, the light comes from a device embedded in another artwork, and on its way to its target the light runs through a third piece of art (possibly changes color on the way). The artworks might include further devices, like video projectors that literally project themselves (and the other / another) on another artwork functioning thus as a canvas. The works of art might also be physically interlocked, or they might reappear in various locations, sites of the exhibioton or its narration. Thus it’s important that the exhibition space itself is integrated as a part of the whole (i.e. a part of this Gesamtkunstwerk).

The exhibition space is actually one of the most important elements here. It has to be used (and modified) so that it carrys out the overall concept or narration mutually agreed by all the artists. The space is thus conceived as one of the items included in the exhibition simultaneously functioning on a certain meta level.

Other elements include at least sound design and music. The music must be minimalistic in that all of it — including different types of interactive sound design — is played and to certain extent heard by any visitor located anywhere inside the exhibition. This sinfonia is played from different sources attached to appropriate pieces of visual or spatial art so that the ambient sound sphere changes according to the location of the visitor. In other words, the exact musical content depends on the balance of the different musical and/or sound elements reaching the visitor in his/her location.

Put another way the overarching musical space is crafted so that it includes multiple independent elements that work in counterpoint (i.e. sounding meaningful both independently and in different relations to each other). So not only visions and light but sounds reach the visitor through other artwork creating multiple phases of receiving.

The minimalistic (repetitional) musical content might give a clue to the nature of the over-all conception and/or narration of the exhibition. It might be circular, repeating or even “explaining” itself; thus the space itself might be a circle or an ellipse, even a spiral or fractal-like. There are multiple different routes through the exhibition. As some of the elements are interactive the visitor ends up having an infinite number of different paths to experiencing the whole.

So not only visions and light but sound reaches the visitor through other artwork creating multiple phases of receiving. The key is co-operation and counterpoint of the different pieces and elements, which is only received through common (multi cultural?) effort and appreciation (mutual endorsement?). This has to be and become concrete, since it is as indispensable a concept behind such an exhibition as it is crucial for its realization.

In part of a single artist, this many-part or multi-level co-operation might call for a bigger effort than the actual making of a single piece of art. Even so, the question has to be asked, what is the function and after-life of these pieces and items after the exhibition? And also, what are the media? Would the exhibition be better (and more practically) conceived virtually, e.g. in Second Life?

And, will it ever be complete and finished, or shall it grow freely, like an open-source object or “Wiki Art” where every piece and item might comment of be reflected on any other?

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One thought on “An exhibition simultaneously heard, seen and experienced in space

  1. I think you actually answered your own questions. 🙂 You wrote: “includes multiple independent elements that work in counterpoint (i.e. sounding meaningful both independently and in different relations to each other); the space itself might be a circle or an ellipse, even a spiral or fractal-like”…

    Maybe I did not understood everything you wanted to tell in your Sketche; have a mercy. 🙂 I think you wanted to capture universal multidimensional idea of a life; different “languages” of a world through which you could experience something basic and something new, everything is continuos but still everytime changing in little details…

    Will it end? Does a circle ends? You ask: “will it ever be complete and finished”…Answer: no, once it is on it will change; it will have different art form(s), but complete? no. What is complete?

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