Objet Inusité : International Summit on Audio Art

19 December 2012, 20:00

  • Jean-Pierre Gauthier
  • Keiko Uenishi
  • Darsha Hewitt

Eastern Bloc, in collaboration with Suoni per il popolo festival, presents Objet Inusité, an international summit bringing together 15 artists and curators from Montreal and abroad, to collectively explore and discuss the audio/visual aspects of digital art through non-screen based practices. Through exploratory workshops, artist presentations and panel discussions, and site-specific installations and performances, particular emphasis is placed on audio art practices that use the "object" as interface, concentrating on objects of an uncommon/non-standard/residual nature.

This 4-day event, co-curated by Eliane Ellbogen and Lisa Gamble, will explore how objects, imbued with a persona, may be activated by their user to take on a life of their own, in a performative or installation context. The presented works seek to examine how the activation of these objects allow for a spontaneous, accidental materialization of the hidden persona of these otherwise inanimate objects. They look at how an object, whether of a discarded or useful nature, can take on a cultural relevance, and how that cultural relevance can be reinterpreted and re-appropriated for an artistic context.

With performances by: Jean-Pierre Gauthier (CA), Keiko Uenishi (US) and Darsha Hewitt (CA).

Darsha Hewitt
Feedback Babies

The Fisher-Price Nursery Monitor is a low watt household radio set that was commercially sold throughout North America in the early 1980s. It was intended to “let parents be in two places at once” by transmitting the sounds emanating from the baby nursery to a wireless receiver accompanying a parent in another part of the home. However, these devices were not without their technological nuisances. The signal carried between the baby monitors was often littered with crosstalk from competing radio waves, causing undesirable audible interference. Furthermore, as with any audio input/output system, when both units are in close proximity they produce disruptive audio feedback – unpleasant noise that could rudely awaken a napping child. “Feedback Babies” is an electromechanical sound performance that exploits these inherent glitches. The receivers are attached to motors and slowly bow back and forth in front of the emitters, creating a subtle soundscape of nuanced feedback patterns and squelching radio interference reminiscent of the whimpers of crying babies.

Keiko Uenishi
Car Décalé (Légèrement) / Because Shifted (Slightly)

Car Décalé (Légèrement) / Because Shifted (Slightly) is a sound-performance/installation that redefines a space by utilizing audio feedback. CDL was purposely constructed in the simplest format without specifics. Aesthetic aspects such as the materials used for walls, ceiling, floors, columns, furniture, people, etc. serve as influential components. CDL also exposes the layers of “rooms” within a “room.” Any hollow-shaped elements such as air-ducts, glasses, bottles, tubes, cans, etc. inside of the whole physical room, would become smaller “rooms” within the larger space. These temporary structures become the feedback chamber for Uenishi’s performance.

Jean-Pierre Gauthier

Jean-Pierre Gauthier presents the newest results in his development of instruments for audio performance. The artist has devised a system of working with found objects that offer particular aural resonance. The sounds created in this context are sampled and transformed throughout the performance, using audio applications for iPod and iPad. The metamorphosis and superposition of these varying audio samples allow him to construct a complex web of sounds. Gauthier also makes use of an invented instrument that pulsates air directly into a microphone. The mechanics allow him to direct the output of the microphones in order to modulate the sounds produced by the air pulses. The artist manipulates by hand the inflatable membranes connected to a pneumatic system, which gives him the ability to significantly alter the sounds.


19 December 2012, 20:00