+ROOM, 2009

— Sound Installation

+ROOM-ROOM is a pair of sound installations for two adjacent galleries. In these twin exhibition spaces, artists Yann Novak and Jamie Drouin investigate how sound can transform the physical and psychological perception of familiar places. Novak and Drouin have independently created two audio compositions based on ambient recordings made in the empty galleries. From this identical conceptual starting point, however, the two works diverge. The artists expand their respective compositions by utilizing numerous different layers of the processed recordings as well as two different playback methods: +ROOM is 4-channel mono and -ROOM is 4-channel dimensional surround. Each work offers a distinct aural and corporeal experience.

Novak (+ROOM) employs a process that could be described as additive. The recorded white noise forms the foundation for a generative and melodic manipulation of existing sounds; the final work exhibits a bright, closed tonal range. On the other hand, Drouin (-ROOM) follows a reductive impulse. He distills the underlying sounds by isolating inherent intonations and modulations that result in a deeper, more natural tonal range.

The galleries are bare save for speakers and benches for seating. This aesthetic decision begs us to turn our attention onto the basic elements of the rooms themselves. This strategy encourages us to rethink the ways in which we assess physical location and create assumptions about our surroundings primarily through our sense of sight. Moreover, spaces — galleries included — are far from neutral to the eye, the body, or the mind. Denoting each room here as “plus” and “minus” suggests the sorts of charged meaning that architecture can carry. The contrasting auditory experiences distinctively energize each space, further breaking down our expectations of architectural solidity, and finally give way to more expansive levels of awareness.

+ROOM-ROOM, 2009

— Performance

Developed for Seattle’s Henry Art Gallery, +ROOM-ROOM is a pair of site-specfic sound installations mounted in two adjacent galleries. Artists Yann Novak and Jamie Drouin independently explore how the perception of architectural space is affected and transformed by sound. Through contrasting sensory experiences, the installations create a divide between the two virtually identical rooms and restructure notions of architectural solidity and singularity in favor of more flexible, intuitive, and subjective perceptions.

The aural compositions, based on ambient recordings made in the two galleries, turn attention onto the spaces themselves and encourage us to rethink the ways in which we process physical location, and create assumptions about our surroundings. Novak, assigned to +ROOM, utilizes the upper sonic spectrum to highlight the volume and density of his gallery, while Drouin, assigned to -ROOM, explores the lower spectrum of sound in order to exploit the emptiness of the space.

Here, Novak and Drouin present a live composition of +ROOM-ROOM using the original sound pieces as source material for the new work. Where the original installation presented two discreet aesthetic experiences, the live performance references the commingling of sounds that occurred in the hallway between the two Henry galleries.

Related Recordings & Publications

+ROOM-ROOM, 2009

— Split Album

+ROOM-ROOM is a pair of sound installations for two adjacent galleries at Seattle’s Henry Art Gallery. Yann Novak and Jamie Drouin individually explore how the perception of these familiar places is transformed by sound. Through contrasting sensory experiences, the installations create an experiential divide between the two virtually identical rooms and restructure notions of architectural solidity and singularity in favor of more flexible, intuitive perceptions. The aural compositions, based on actual ambient noises recorded in the galleries, turn attention onto the spaces themselves and encourage us to rethink the ways in which we process physical location, and create assumptions about our surroundings.


Credits

+ROOM-ROOM was organized by Henry Associate Curator Sara Krajewski.
The exhibition is generously supported by ArtsFund and the Patrons of the Henry Art Gallery.
In kind support provided by Tannoy.

Track Listing

  1. Yann Novak — +ROOM
  2. Jamie Drouin — -ROOM

Credits

+ROOM-ROOM was organized by Henry Associate Curator Sara Krajewski.
The exhibition is generously supported by ArtsFund and the Patrons of the Henry Art Gallery.
In kind support provided by Tannoy.

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