Discovery is invention (2005)

Following is the original press release to Discovery is invention: artists and field recordings.

Discovery is invention: artists and field recordings

An unique exhibition of creative field recordings
St. Edward’s University, Austin, Texas
April 3-April 16, 2005

Discovery is invention: artists and field recordings showcases field recordings by artists Marcos Fernandes, Dale Lloyd and Josh Russell. All three of them identify their work with the idea of phonography: artists presenting unadulterated sound recordings in the context of art.

The exhibition will take place on the St. Edward’s University campus, and last from April 3 to April 16. The audience will hear the field recordings by sitting on benches that are wired for sound playback, with headphones attached. You can find the exhibits on this map of the campus.

There will be two associated events happening in Austin the week of the exhibition. Curator Alex Keller will give a talk on the artists and their work at the St. Edward’s University Master of Liberal Arts symposium on April 7 at 2 PM (free, for the location check this map), and there will be a performance involving field recordings at the Church of the Friendly Ghost, 209 Pedernales, on April 10 at 8 PM ($5 donation). Artists performing on the 10th include Terry Horn, Josh Ronsen, and Josh Russell.

Alex Keller: “Putting ambient sound in the context of art is not a new idea. John Cage was very interested in the idea of recognizing the artistic merit of a sound environment; his infamous piece 4’33” was created to encourage the audience to listen to the concert hall ambiance. The World Soundscape Project, a composers’ research group based in Vancouver in the early 1970s, traveled and made field recordings to document the many sound environments (what they termed soundscape) of the world. The contemporary phonography movement is an evolution of the ideas of both John Cage and the World Soundscape project.“

“Phonographers release their work as CDs or online (experienced at the time and place specified by the audience) or present recordings in a live performance context (which is experienced at the time and place specified by the artist). Discovery is invention takes that work and put it in the context of fine art, which is experienced in a place specified by the artist but at a time specified by the audience.”

“Headphones and benches are provided so that the listener can stop, and listen, and experience another sound environment. The benches refer to another exhibition of similar work : 2000’s Volume: Bed of Sound, in which the audience listened to recordings of sound art on a seventy-foot long futon.”