“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

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