The use, application and exploration of sound has played an important, if somewhat under acknowledged role throughout both modernism and postmodernism.
Beginning with the infamous composition of John Cage’s ‘4″33‘ (1982), silence was used as artistic medium as an invitation to listen to all sounds both natural and man-made. Cage’s explorations into the function of sonic interventions within art set about a generation of sound artists; Annea Lockwood, Bill Fontana, La Monte Young, MaryAnne Amacher, Bernhard Leitner, Max Neuhaus. These artists began a long and far reaching journey into the limits of sound when used within sculpture, exhibitions and public space.
Bill Fontana was a pioneer of the term ‘sound sculpture’. A process of using naturally occurring sounds to pose interventions into public space.
Image courtesy of Tate
His Harmonic Bridge (2006), was an installation installed at the Millennium Bridge, London which used vibration sensors to reveal the innumerable hidden sounds of the bridge.
In a different fashion, Bernhard Leitner, used the gallery, rather than the public space to create sounds installations or ‘sound-space-objects’. His work is often refereed to as sound architecture, using sound to create spatial models of geometry.
Katie Paterson is one such artist who uses sound to create and sculpt sonic interventions within the exhibition space and beyond.
A number of her previous projects have explored the use and appropriation of sound when taken from its natural context….
Every Night About This Time
A series of occurrences, simultaneous happenings/events/scores
Langjökull, Snæfellsjökull, Solheimajökull
Three glacier ice records, played until they melt.
Four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence reflected from the moon to earth.
Read more details of Paterson’s works on her artist website: