Yann Novak

Menu Press Kit
2017

Press Kit

— 17

Biography

Yann Novak is an artist, composer, and curator based in Los Angeles. His work is guided by his interests in perception, context, movement, and the felt presence of direct experience. Through the use of sound and light, Novak explores how these intangible materials can act as catalysts to focus our awareness on our present location in space and time. Novak’s diverse body of works – audiovisual installations, performances, architectural interventions, sound diffusions, recording, and prints – ask participants to reclaim the present moment as a political act.

Read full Biography & Artist Statement

Quotes

“seductive work with political edge…”
— Catherine Wagley, The LA Weekly

“His specialty is severely honed, long-form microsound compositions that fluctuate ever so slightly, in the manner of Éliane Radigue and Eleh. Usually augmented by field recordings, Novak’s output represents some of the purest, most patiently unspooling music around…”
— Dave Segal, The Stranger

“Sometimes sociologists speak of “quasi-objects”, objects that are neither entirely natural nor entirely social, but rather serve as “operators” that draw people together in specific relationships as well as into relationships with non-human objects. Which sort of turns them into subjects, too. This is exactly what Yann Novak´s works are. As installation pieces, they are agents that exist to be related to – in situ in the gallery, surrounded by other visitors, with whom you might share the experience, or at home, in the form of a record, for a more private encounter.“
— Stephen Fruitman, Avant Music News

“From one perspective there would seem to be a strange contradiction at the heart of Novak’s work. The aesthetics of his installations would seem to hark back to the Modernism expounded by art critics such as Clement Greenberg and Michael Fried, particularly the latter’s notions of absorption and presence. According to this dictum, the artist’s role is to produce a pure phenomenological experience, free from representational content, that would provide the occasion for a moment of ideal transcendence. Novak’s ambient drones, abstract colour fields, and emphasis on perceptual immersion would seem to reflect similar aspirations: his installations almost seem to promise a timeless, out-of-body experience, an eternal moment of sublime presence. Yet at the same time, his choice of time-based media and declared concern with narrative would seem to undermine these aims, and the photographs used to construct the “Blue.Hour” video clearly show a landscape — an act of reference that points back to traditions of landscape painting supposedly supplanted by Greenberg’s Modernist abstraction.“
— Nathan Thomas, Fluid Radio

“Novak does not waste his chance to make a first impression. In fact, with remarkable economy he transforms the three rooms he’s been given to work with into chambers where you can be transported into states of mind that feel both personal and familiar. Using digitally altered field recordings (in which the sounds are heightened but the time is real) and snapshots digitally stitched together and abstracted into gleaming videos, Novak both fills the work up with his subjective experience and empties it out to make room for you. There’s just enough specificity and just enough blankness.

I know, technically, how Novak made this work, but I don’t quite know how it works. The closest I can get to describing his approach is that it’s a combination of generosity and restraint. Each detail being so firmly in place means that the rest is open.“
— Jen Graves, The Stranger

Read articles, reviews, interviews and press. Some items open as PDFs or to external websites.

How a Song About Baking Bread Inspired an Experimental Record Label →
Cory Lomberg, LA Weekly, March 14, 2017

In the studio with Yann Novak →
Mike Lazarev, Headphone Commute, December 22, 2016

Interview: Yann Novak →
Jack Tuftie, Present Soundings, December 13, 2016

Interview: Yann Novak →
Jack Chuter, ATTN: Magazine, November 15, 2016

Exploring Blackness in Antiquity Through Movement and Sound →
Audrey Chan, The Iris, August 9, 2016

First Night At The Broad: Spectacular, Brilliant Programming
Allon Schoener, Cultural Weekly, February 24, 2015

A sneak peek at the Broad museum draws an enthusiastic crowd
Debora Vankin, Loa Angeles Times, February 16, 2015

A Conspicuous Twist of the Right Wrist: Gestures of Queerness in Contemporary Intermedia Art →
Erin Silver, Doris McCarthy Gallery, January 7, 2015

Yann Novak Interview
Scott Mclatchie, Homo Gestalt, January 5, 2015

Dialogue 02: Yann Novak
Miguel Isaza, Sonic Field, June 11, 2014

Yann Novak “Doppler.Shift” at Commonwealth and Council
Geoff Tuck, Notes on Looking, February 19, 2014

Re-location: Sound Art E Approceao Ecosistenico Agla Ambienti Di Fuizione ↓
Leandro Pisano, Blow-Up Magazine, March 1, 2012

Resonates Well with Others: Recent Sound Art Collaborations
E. Maude Haak-Frendscho, Drift Magazine, January 1, 2011

On Site: Sillness.Subtropical
Clive Bell, The Wire Magazine, October 1, 2010

Empty Spaces: Yann Novak at Lawrimore Project
Emily Pothast, Translinguistic Other, June 2, 2009

Yann Novak’s ‘Relocation’: All Kinds of Movings On
Jen Graves, The Stranger, May 14, 2009

Promotional Images

Click images to download hi-res versions.

Press Inquiries

Lynn Tejada, Green Galactic