Artist uses museum building as speakers in new
site-specific sound installation
March 18 through May 13, 2001
Oakland-based sound artist Ed Osborn will use low-tech gadgetry to turn the UC Berkeley Art Museum into a sound sculpture as part of his site-specific installation Vanishing Point.
The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum is proud to present Osborn's work as part of its acclaimed MATRIX Program for Contemporary Art. Ed Osborn/MATRIX 193 Vanishing Point will open at the museum on Sunday, March 18, and run through Sunday, May 13, 2001.
Originally trained as a composer in traditional forms of music, Osborn made the transition to installation art ten years ago as his interests began to outstrip the possibilities of conventional composition. Today he creates mechano-acoustic sculptures - sculptures that, when activated, make a noise - using such mundane, everyday items as fishing rods, model trains, music boxes, rubber tubing, and electric fans.
Despite their low-tech origins, Osborn's works deal in a sophisticated array of sound-related physics, including shadow audio images, transduced movements, sounding ghosts, inaudible artifaces, sonic depictions and ultrasound sensings. The content of his works, however, deliberately draws upon the types of sounds and experiences that are part of our everyday lives. Osborn's intention is that his audience need not possess a complex understanding of how his sculptures work in order to appreciate them.
In essence, Osborn's sculptures transform one form of energy into another - for example, motion into sound. In earlier works such as Swarm (1998) he combined electric fans with ultrasound sensors that were triggered by the movement of people throughout the gallery space, switching the fans on and off in apparently random patterns. In Night-Sea Music (1998) Osborn made a wall of rubber tubes that undulated like seaweed as operetta was played through the small music boxes to which they were attached. Unlike these works, Osborn's installation for the UC Berkeley Art Museum, Vanishing Point, will not have a conspicuous sculptural element. Instead the installation uses a series of small speaker drivers attached to windows in the museum's galleries, magnifying and transmitting the vibration of the glass to people both inside and outside museum.
Sunday, March 18, 3:00 p.m.
Osborn will be present at the museum to give a talk and musical performance.
Curator Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson
Thursday, May 3, 12:15 p.m.
In a talk that will address two strikingly different MATRIX exhibitions, curator Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson will highlight the sources and inspiration behind Ed Osborn's Vanishing Point and Ricky Swallow's For those who came in late (April 21 - May 27).
Upcoming MATRIX exhibitions
Ricky Swallow/MATRIX 191 For those who came in late
APRIL 21 - MAY 27
Australian artist Ricky Swallow's works are informed by both his acute political awareness and his fondness for '50s comic strips. The result: meticulously hand-crafted installations that blend whimsy with a disturbing undertone of malevolence and obsession. Swallow's MATRIX exhibition, which will feature both sculpture and drawings, will be his first solo museum exhibition in the United States.
Known for presenting innovative, sometimes challenging work that might be difficult to show in commercial galleries or more traditional museum spaces, the BAM/PFA's 22 year-old MATRIX program demonstrates that art is vital, dynamic, and thought-provoking. In the last two decades, MATRIX has presented more than 180 exhibitions, including artist such as John Baldessari, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, Willem De Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Nan Goldin, Eva Hesse, Sol LeWitt, Nancy Spero, and Andy Warhol. Recent exhibitions have featured Shirin Neshat, Doug Aitken, Peter Doig, Tobias Rehberger, and Ernesto Neto. MATRIX not only provides the Bay Area with a schedule of cutting-edge exhibitions, but has also attracted national and international acclaim.