Photo: Christopher Wormald

Biography

Yann Novak is a sound and visual artist living and working in Los Angeles. Through the use of sound, light and space, he explores how these intangible materials can act as catalysts to focus our awareness on the present moment and alter our perception of time. Novak’s work, whether conceptual or rooted in phenomenon, is informed by his investigations of presence, stillness and mindfulness.  His works can be experienced as audiovisual installations and performances, durational performances, architectural interventions, sound diffusions, concerts and recorded sound works.

Novak has presented his installation work through solo and two-person exhibitions at Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena; The Broad, Los Angeles; Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles; Dancity Festival, Foligno; The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Human Resources, Los Angeles; Las Cienegas Projects, Los Angeles; and Soundfjord, London. His sound and video works have been presented internationally as part of multiple group exhibitions, screenings and diffusions at venues and events including Acud Macht Neu, Berlin; California Museum of Photography, Riverside; Call & Response, London; Doris McCarthy Gallery, Toronto; Gift_Lab, Tokyo; GV Art Gallery, London; LOOP Festival, Barcelona; Modern Art Museum of Medellín, Medellín; North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Share Festival, Torino; Susanne Vielmetter LA Projects, Los Angeles; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; among others.

His performance works have been experienced internationally at sound art/electronic music festivals including the A×S Festival, Pasadena; Decibel Festival, Seattle; Forward Festival, Washington; Mutek Festival, Montreal; Resonant Forms Festival, Los Angeles; Soundwalk, Long Beach and at art venues and museums including the de Young Museum, San Francisco; Getty Villa, Pacific Palisades; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles Contemporary Archive, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Machine Project, Los Angeles; Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena; Oboro, Montreal; The Stone, New York; Vincent Price Art Museum, Monterey Park; among others.

Novak’s solo and collaborative recorded works have been published on numerous releases on such labels as Éter, Farmacia901, Hibernate Recordings, LINE, Murmur Records, Touch, and Unfathomless. His recorded works have also appeared on multiple international sound art and electronic music compilations on labels such as Crónica, Dronarivm, Drone Records, Estuary Ltd., Home Normal, Mandorla, Monochrome Vision, IO Sound, among others.

Since 2012, he has been a member of VOLUME, a curatorial collective that is dedicated to presenting time-based work by emerging and established artists engaged in sound based practices through performances, concerts, exhibitions, screenings, workshops, and publications.  VOLUME has worked with a wide range of artists including William Basinski, Frank Bretschneider, Richard Chartier, Lawrence English, Tim Hecker, Lucky Dragons, Phill Niblock, Steve Roden, Carl Stone, Terre Thaemlitz, among others.

In 2005, Novak re-launched his father’s Dragon’s Eye Recordings imprint with a new focus on limited edition releases by emerging and mid-career sound artists, composers and producers. Since its re-launch, Dragon’s Eye Recordings has published over 70 releases and has received critical acclaim internationally.

As a result of these endeavors, Novak had been invited to numerous residencies including the Environmental Aesthetics Residency, Seattle; The Espy Foundation Residency, Oysterville; The Jental Artist Residency, Sharidan; The Kasini House Studio A Residency, Burlington; The Mountain School of Arts, Los Angeles; The Taliesin Artist Residency, Spring Green; and The Touch Mentorship Programme, London.

In recent years, Novak has collaborated through select installations, performances and recorded works with Johanna Breiding, Rebecca Bruno, Richard Chartier, Robert Crouch, Rafa Esparza, Taisha Paggett, Fabio Perletta, Alex Schweder, among others.

Artist Statement

In my work I explore notions of presence, stillness and mindfulness through the construction of immersive spaces, both literal and figurative, and draw inspiration from such sources as Musique Concrète, rave culture, organic architecture and Tibetan Buddhism. I primarily work with sound, utilizing both digital and analogue sources and processing techniques to create static or slowly evolving auditory fields. Projections, artificial light and manipulated natural light are used to create visual phenomenon analogous to my sound work.

Much of my work relies on uncertainty, often exploiting the imperfections or idiosyncrasies of a given medium. By doing so a unique dialog is created which allows the materials to have their own voice. This investigation originated from my work processing field recording, but has expanded into other mediums, including modular synthesis, video compression, watercolors and printmaking. I often reference modernism through the use of a minimal visual and auditory palette. Similarly, my use of color fields and architectural interventions reference the Light and Space movement. Taking the form of audiovisual installations and performances, durational performances, architectural interventions, sound diffusions, concerts and recorded sound works, my work interacts with, and transforms, perceptions of time and space