Author: guyserotonin

Guy Cooper is an Australian freelance music producer with a local Gold Coast studio. With Serotonin Productions, he has produced, managed, performed with and published several local acts into international markets, working with labels and management to produce great artists.

June 11th 2018 Journal Poseidon’s Music Box – Cycles of action

 

Music composition started, DbMajor or Aminor maybe, just experimenting with tempos, scales and ideas between complex and minimalistic.

Construction phase.
– Centre Cube rotating and base finished
– Hexagon base frames fabricated
– Grounding base finished and Square.
-Bearings and gears for

Solar Panel sourcing and commitment.

Collecting video footage and pics for presentation.
Social Media Engagement.

Rethinking the theme and slogans
– tied into the song lyrics
– Stopadanigoldcoast movement
– Focus on wonder not economic gloom

 

 

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May 2018 Journal Poseidon’s Music Box – Cycles of action

With the bulk of the initial research already done, I have moved onto the actual construction of the sculpture and the part I enjoy the most. I love building and working with my hands, it is calming. The initial design above is guiding me in the overall structure, but as each part is taking shape, I am refining the small technical details regarding the gears and structural joins. The sculpture would be very easy if it was not moving, but the rotation is what will be creating the music score and also bringing life to the piece. The electronics for the solar power are planned to be hidden within the arms and under the main plate and this requires some planning so that the entire structure doesn’t twist itself apart.

Cycle 1 – Visual design aesthetics and fabrication

Act: Design the initial concept drawing.

Observe: Does the visual appearance express the message of the connection of coal and the environmental death of the coral to the audience?

Reflect: The aesthetics of the design are slowly being updated as I go through the process too. While the initial design and coverings with succulent plants will remain, I am thinking of having half of each of the six arms covered in black coal and the other half in the brightly coloured plant life to really contrast the life and death aspects of the sculpture.

The panels around the base of the sculpture were designed to more directly send the message I wanted with the whole piece and therefore I am sticking with the bold and direct quotes, images and as the whole sculpture rotates, these messages will display.

#1 Coral Not Coal

#2 Sustainably co-existing with our planet

#3 #StopAdaniGoldCoast

#4 Please Save Me

#5 $56b economic, social & icon value. $6.4b contributed to Australian Economy annually

#6 One of the 7 natural wonders of the world in our own backyard

largest living organism on the planet

The sculpture is also very visually based and I’m finding that the micro aspect which can be viewed up close and the larger shape of the whole piece should mimic each other. The small geometric designs engraved on the arms will represent the overall larger scale imagery.

Act: Communicating the overall intent of the sculpture through each small piece will ensure the message is clear overall. The shape of the sculpture along with the succulent plant life will represent the coral shape. The bright colors of the plants, the black coal on half of each of the arms and the white bleached frame will follow through with this concept.

The textual messages on the wooden boards at the base of the sculpture will directly express the message to the audience.

Fabrication is currently underway and further observation will occur once this stage is more complete. I’m still working on how I can make the sculpture interactive with the audience, initial ideas are to ask people to take a picture with the sculpture and post it online with their message with the hashtag #coralnotcoal

Cycle 2 – Auditory musical composition, production & publishing

Act: I’m working on the musical melody loop that represents a birth and death cycle, major to minor and fitting this into 32 8th notes. The tube chime mechanics have also been calculated and some have been cut to ensure the tones are loud enough and acoustically pleasing.

 

Cycle 3 – Documentation and exegesis

Act: In answering how I can enact the change I want in my sculpture I have spoken to #stopadanigoldcoast and HOTA (Home of the Arts Gold Coast) about working towards a display or exhibition of the sculpture in August. Tying the sculpture in with the #stopadanigoldcoast movement will help develop an audience and some press for the piece. In addition, I have started to put together a website at  http://guycooper.com.au/poseidon/ to collate all the blogs and images of the work in progress. This site will also be the final digital public delivery of the sculpture, song and videos.

 

 

April 16th 2018 Poseidon’s Music Box Sound Sculpture

For my masters project and as part of the written exegesis, I will be trying to focus on three main sections for discussion and cyclic analysis of the ‘Poseidon’s Music Box’ sculpture.PERSPECTIVEfinal CROP

  • The physical (structure and aesthetics)
  • The sonic (song with a message & sound sculpture)
  • The ideology (eco-activism & public art)

Through the discussion, I will look at it through 3 lenses,

  1. The discourse
  2. As a sound sculpture and as an object
  3. Impact and taste as public art (Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste by Pierre Bourdieu)

I will be reflecting on the design and aesthetics of the sound sculpture as public art, not the outcome, as I won’t have scope for a focus group. I will be measuring the shift in practice from my professional music production to sound sculpture. Incorporating Action Research Cycles as a methodology.

  • Looking at the transition from just supporting activist work to being the activist through my sculpture work.
  • The merging of different disciplines (music, production into sculpture) to express my politics and music composition. The blend of sculpture world and music world.

I will also be discussing the use of a song/music in sound sculpture vs sound sculpture with a sonic soundscape.

To help form the basis for the exegesis I am moving towards refining the following question.

How can I design my sound sculpture to inspire social impact with a cause?

Some other questions posed by my supervisors,
Q: How can public sculpture express a political view?
Q: Can political sculpture create public discourse?
Q: What type of political sculpture can create public discourse?
How can public art create and inspire emotional and change in thinking and philosophical issues?

In the interest of making more sense of my work with this project, I would like to find out how I can refine and adapt the design of the visual and musical elements within my sculpture to inspire some social impact in the public art realm.

Other action research cycles I can discuss that have already occurred.

  • Feedback from Migaloo’s Song sculpture.
  • Keep copies of the current discussion around current public art on Gold Coast.
  • My transition from musician and producer to sound sculpture artist.
    • Step one – Too Right Mate (music activism)
    • Step two – Migaloo (sound sculpture & art activism)
    • Step three – eco / activist artist
  • My learning of fabrication (welding and steel work)
  • My research surrounding acoustics and instrument making

 

April 2nd 2018 Sound Sculpture – Poseidon’s Music Box

Construction has begun and figuring out where my focus is.

Throughout the last trimester I have been exploring more theoretical aspects of the sculpture I am creating and thinking more about the ‘purpose’, the why of the physical art and what it can help achieve. The focus was initially based on my own meditative and creative output, exploring the engineering fabrication aspects and design aspects for my own personal education and exploration. Having a creative outlet that was separate from my music and production work to help me relax more. Music hasn’t become a chore, I love it, but my whole life is consumed by musical projects. I think I do a lot of the video, photography and media management work not only to further the music we create, but also to fulfill my desire to explore more art forms.

The construction of sculptures has been exciting, learning how to weld and being able to create what it in my mind without the restraint of not knowing how to physically make it work and put it into action. Through this ‘sculpting career’ move, I have also become more aware of the effect of public art on people and how what I create can affect and inspire the people around me. I saw this in reflection on the ‘Migaloo’s Song’ sculpture last year. I went into it for myself, wanting to build this thing I had an idea for, but I came out at the end with a sea of people I affected with the design and construction of the large-scale machine. The wonderment of the actual object functioning was one thing, but the inspiration that anyone could just buy a welder and make this thing created sense of joy in so many of my friends. Everyone wanted to be a part of it and I had lots of friends wanting to come help make it and the song. A side result apart from the awards and self-fulfillment was the direct inspiration for 4 friends who directly told me that me undertaking the sculpture and achieving it (as well as sharing it online in videos and posts) helped them to overcome the fear of starting a new art form or dream they had always avoided because of insecurity. It also directly affected 2 young Gold Coast school students whom I sponsored with some of the prize money to build their own sculptures for this year’s festival. I didn’t see this effect at the start of the project in Jan 2017, but it’s becoming clearer to me this year. What I could measure though was the effect it also had on the public that saw the sculpture, I wasn’t aware and/or wasn’t concerned with that. Mostly due to the fact that I didn’t even know if I could do it and if I’d be happy with the final result, adding the pressure of making others happy with the result or affecting change would have made it too stressful for me. This year is different though, I have a lot more confidence in the process and now that I have a good model for how the whole situation of designing, building and showcasing public art works, I am keen to create a more defined outcome for the public viewing the piece in addition to my own satisfaction.

So, I want to explore the effect of the audiences sensory and emotional reaction to the sculpture and in turn how public art can help encourage or change or affect the public’s perception on a particular topic. It might not even be a direct actionable response as I had initially suggested a month ago, but may be a change or mindset or a trigger or catalyst for their thinking and this is where I think public art has a purpose.

As I start to propose a question for my final exegesis, I would like to fulfill the following things.

  • Creating a question that I personally don’t know the answer for to ensure I am engaged fully in exploring the topic.
  • Creating an sensory impact in the audience, whether it is emotional, actionable or philosophical, through the visual and sound of the piece.
  • Creating a path for myself to continue exploring and pushing myself in both design and fabrication of the sculpture.
  • Creating a philosophy for my own sculpting career, a 2nd purpose for what I am trying to achieve besides building an awesome thing that interests me.

I will come back to the question, but to start getting the ideas out at this stage perhaps something like,

How can public art create and inspire emotional and change in thinking and philosophical issues?

To help explore the topics above throughout the process of this masters and the sculpture, I am creating an action plan to map out the phases and timeline of both the sculpture design and construction and also the milestones to reflect on the affective qualities and goals of the final piece in relation to an audience. While the Swell Sculpture Festival on the Gold Coast in Sept 2018 creates a deadline and an initial public display and audience, it is not the sole destination, but instead I think that it is an example of public art display.

Action Plan

Here’s how I have practiced in the past (detailed review of how I did Migaloo)

VS

How I am going to go about making this one, what is different. Looking at my practice as if it is brand new.

To do this I need to become more critically aware of decisions on my way and make sure that I document them as much as the actual construction process. I need to be able to look back at where I’ve come through my own research so far with regards to sound sculpture. Some of the cycles reflection will be practical construction, some will be on the research and what I have learned.

What is measurable action research?

  • Find way to measure and get data.
  • Do something, reflect, examine, reflect and re adjust.
  • Look deeper into this with a case study on the methodology.

Here’s how I have practiced on the Migaloo’s Song sculpture.

For my initial sculpture last year, I was much more concerned with the actual construction process and simply achieving it for myself. Part of this selfish focus was to remove any excess stress from the project as I didn’t need to do it all in the first place and I was going through chemo at the time. There was probably part of it where I recognized if I put the focus on self development and fulfillment than I could avoid insecurity and fear of judgement from others in the art and sculpture scene as it was a new art form to me and this fear is usually what stops most creative people from undertaking new works.

The sculpture last year started with a 2 month long design process in Dec 2016-Jan 2017, the whale started out as a geometric pattern of strings and plucking parts to a wave made of strings, then a hammerhead shark with strings long ways and ended up being a humpback whale. All three (and the other side tangent designs) were related to sound and music, it was clear to me from the early stage that I was interested in creating sculptures that combined sound, acoustics and music, though it was another 16 months until I discovered the term ‘Sound Sculpture’. I had also just finished an Physics degree in Astrobiology that saw me fixated on the connection of frequency and vibrational wave theory in the development of life in our universe.

Throughout the ‘Migaloo’s Song’ design and construction I was aware and making decisions on the piece based not only on my own interest, but on how it would look and sound to an audience. I think 20 yrs in the music industry has taught me that there is nothing wrong with making music or art that is self-satisfying, but considering how the audience will react or take in the art is also an important skill to have. I think this is where the sculpture moved from being simply a geometric combination of parts to another living creature that would encourage people to ponder the connection between nature and us as humans though music and sound. The following was my artist statement for ‘Migaloo’s Song’ from Jan 2017 before I had begun construction.

Sound and music follows a harmonic structure like that found in nature. There’s connection to our organic world utilizing acoustics & science, to create harmony with our surroundings. Sound is an auditory perception of the brains response to vibrational patterns observed by our bodies. The combination of art, design and psychoacoustics creates a hidden link that resonates between nature and all life. Humpback whales are described as ‘inveterate composers’ of songs that are ‘strikingly similar’ to human musical traditions, a kinship we share with these mammals and a shared language. – Guy Cooper / Migaloo’s Song

For that sculpture I think there was a decent amount of thought that went into the design and construct of creating some response in the audience, a purpose and connection for the sculpture at the start of the design process. But as the actual construction begun, I focused soley on the fabrication and it wasn’t until it was finished (3 days before swell haha) that I came full circle and started to revisit the extra elements of actionable response in the audience. This was achieved in a small way with the press releases and the song I wrote using the harp and a collection of local artists supporting me on the track.

Press Release Sept 2017 – https://www.dropbox.com/s/um0tc3oxxjtpq59/Guy%20Cooper%20-%20Migaloo%27s%20Song%20Media%20Release.pdf?dl=0

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/7f862NkJeucPguLSLYj2yF

There was a lot of reflective moments in regards to the construction, visual appearance and sound of the harp. Every 4-7 days when I had created a new aspect or failed to construct what I had in my mind, I sat down and reflected on the sculpture. Sometimes it was a forced moment of reflection as my body wasn’t physically able to move or stand up, somedays spent in chemo my mind was redesigning the construction, welding, joints and parts perhaps as a way of distraction from the depressing scenes and news in the hospitals. These moments of reflection and meditation were private and personal, in my head only, I didn’t document them or talk about them with others. It was enjoyable for me to not have to discuss them with others, part of the project was something I could just do myself without having to check and manage multiple other opinions, suggestions and needs. The downside of this is that I have developed a better method of working through the creation process to achieve an outcome, but I don’t have any way of easily explaining this process to others. This did occur to me in 2017 through the process, but I honestly didn’t care as it was just for me, at the time I needed to focus on myself to get through everything that was happening.

So this year I will be using this masters course to improve on the process and outcome and also to find a better way to document and explain the process to others and myself.

What Have I done so far and what needs to happen?

Design

I have already begun the design and construction process for ‘Poseidon’s Music Box’. The design started with a combination of research into sound sculpture and geometric design, sound and nature based physics. I had initially wanted to created a sculpture of dying bleached coral using organ pipes, a droning graveyard that re-enforced the environmental issue of coal mining and its direct connection to climate change and the death of the Great Barrier Reef. I would consider myself an environmentalist, there are so many issues with the world, capitalism, greed, violence, poverty, evil motives… lets not get into those, I want to focus on something that I can change. While I work with helping the homeless on the Gold Coast, building a $5,000 whale harp from steel is not the most helpful thing for the homeless.

The design for ‘Poseidon’s Music Box’ begun on Pinterest collecting pictures from the internet and also my own photography with visual design elements that embodied the theme of coral, music, sound, mining and climate change. The concept of having coral out of its ocean environment and on the land, took me towards the succulent plant life which I have always thought looks like land coral. I have a large garden where I spend my time relaxing and meditating and the I have always been fascinated by the geometric patterns in plants and particularly succulent plants. I decided I wanted to create a large scale coral piece that mirrored the underwater coral, but was manmade, this would help explain the concept that our natural coral is dying and one day all we may have is manmade coral to remember what the coral used to look like. The concept also brought the coral issue to the people on the land, not everyone gets the opportunity to go to the reef and dive or snorkel to see the beauty and in turn effect of coral bleaching and death from climate change. I think this is the same concept as ‘Migaloo’s Song’, bringing the 1:1 size and majesty of the humpback whale to the land, so standing next to them you can see and feel the awe of the scale.

 

Migaloo's Song Night

I also wanted to include some music, not just sounds, but a music piece into the sculpture. The more I research this I find it is less ‘Sound Sculpture’ and more satisfying my interest in marvelous machines. From music boxes to Da-Vinci, perpetual ball bearing machines and orchestrion’s.

A more recent example would be something like the Wintergatan, which is amazing, but has no context to me, its just a big ass amazing machine that sort of makes music.

With all this in mind, I spent 2 months again drawing and collecting large scale and macro images and building different designs in my head. I decided early on I wanted to use chime or steel tubes to generate the musical elements instead of strings this time in order to create something more permeant and all weather. The designs ended up closer to the final concept of Poseidon’s Music Box below.

PERSPECTIVEfinal CROP More design and reflection needs to happen as the project continues. Practical concerns arise as the construction begins that require the concept design to be altered along the way. I want to try and document this as much as possible. There also needs to be a reflection on the design at each stage for simple aesthetic purposes and as my understanding of what I want to achieve with the final piece become more clear.

Construction

The construction process is fun and unknown, perhaps it is the unknown factor that makes it fun for me. Part of the desire to create sculptures is that I don’t know how to physically do it and I enjoy a challenge. I do a lot of things in my life, I have too many jobs, but I have always enjoyed doing different things, I sleep less than most people and life is too short to sit around and not get off your ass and do what makes you happy. My time with thousands of musicians, artists, 17 years of lecturing and teaching artists, has taught me that most people never overcome the fear of judgment from being creative. Its sad and depressing to see people trapped in their own minds from fears and insecurities. I have always made it my goal to change this people, I do it for my friends and my students. I have found my purpose in a lot of ways is a catalyst. Either through my words or my actions, it’s what my label does and I can see that effect I have on people in every one of my jobs.

The construction for me is a mountain to climb, it started with sculpture in 2017 where I wanted to learn how to work with metal. Wood was easy and I have built more than enough things (studios, decks, furniture) from wood, but metal was always a disaster for me. I wanted to learn how to weld and overcome the barrier to construct bigger things from steel. I have always been fascinated by steel sculptures that mimicked natural animals and life and wanted to learn to weld steel. It was probably my retirement plan to help me transition from running my businesses into stopping work and relaxing, but when it looked life I wasn’t maybe going to make it that far with the cancer and T1 diabetes, I got up and went and bought a welder. Terrible things and bad times have always snapped me into action, you can sit there and let it drag you into depression, or you can snap yourself out of it and take control of your life.

So the process of learning to weld was watching some YouTube videos and making mistakes. It’s more enjoyable for me to learn through the process and ‘Migaloo’s Song’ has all my first welds. I probably should of started with something smaller, but hey, where’s the fun in that!

For Poseidon’s Music Box, I can easily see the improvement in welding, planning and machinery. I have suppliers for steel, baring’s, gears, motors, solar and renewable energy and I have a much better understanding of the engineering requirements and the bending moments and sheer forces of steel and aluminum. I have had some fabrication advice this year from other sculptors I met through the process last year and also tradies at the supply shops. My welds are cleaner, stronger and the process is much quicker now, I’m also not physically disabled this year being off chemo and have my strength back.

I think the design and construction are combined, you can’t just design whatever you want, physical and logistical restraints need to be considered along with the design aesthetics. For me the construction is simply looking at the physical building and engineering process, but I think I will combine the design research and outcome aesthetics into the construction discussion for the months to come.

Reflection on process and research.

What do I want to know next?

Through this masters course, my direction on what I want to explore has changed and I expect it will continue to do, but each time I’m getting closer to a more defined goal. I feel like I’m spiraling, but spiraling inwards towards a central point that has clarity on what I think and feel. A month or two ago I was focused on sound sculpture and then on art activism, both of which describe what I do and what I want, but as I look at focusing my attention to a more measureable goal and exegesis question, I find that both of those aspects can be discussed with more final intent by applying what I do to the topic of how public art can affect people’s emotions and thinking.

I don’t want to go into this too much right now, I think this is going to be my main topic for the weeks to come and I want to dive into the case study on the action research cycles first so that when I explore the topic more deeply I’m coming at it with more framework for the aspects I need to focus on.

Public art (for the weeks to come)

  • Look at my own ethics and morals.
  • Seeing the relationship between my own morals, and my practice and how I present myself.
  • How can public art affect emotions and thinking in the audience?
  • How can I enact actionable changes with public art installations?
    • How can I focus my public art on a local issue? (Coal mining & Adani?)
  • How much impact does Kinetic Sound Sculpture have over static silent sculpture?

Basic Action Plan

Jan 2018

  • Research
    • Masters based research from 2017 into ‘Sound Sculpture’, affect and aesthetics, personal sculpting career aspects, public art.
  • Design & Construction
    • What do I want to design? Reflecting on how my design can inspire others, how can I affect change
    • What can I physically build and how am I going to draw a concept of this thing in my head?
    • Learning how to draw better, taking design cues from nature and science.

Feb

  • Research
    • What is Sound Sculpture?
  • Design & Construction
    • How will the sculpture work mechanically, specifics on the gears, bearings, loading values, sheer forces and bending moments, statics, math and physics.
    • How will the musical element be scored and played?
    • Where can I source all the materials?
    • How can I build it so I don’t need to hire a crane and truck again?

March

  • Research
    • Art activism and how I can enact change with my art
  • Design & Construction
    • Get stuck into the construction, start at the centre and work my way outwards on the sculpture slowly, reassess at each stage and alter design to suit the visual and practical issues.

April

  • Research
    • Public art and how I can enact change in the audience.
    • How do I measure and document the process?
    • What do I need to be doing for my exegesis?
  • Design & Construction
    • Finish basic elements and reassess how the aesthetics of the whole structure are working, what needs to be changed to achieve the effects I want.

May
(I will be on tour in japan for most of May with two different bands, so I will use this month as more research and reflection)

  • Research
    • How can I enact the change I want with my sculpture?
    • What other aspects and methods can I employ to re-enforce the concepts? (recording of the musical piece and produce a song again?)
    • How effective have others been in their public art with effecting change in people?
  • Design & Construction
    • Take lots of pics of sculpture to date so I can reflect while in Japan.

June

  • Research
    • How do I feel about the effect of the sculpture?
    • How do other people see the effect of the sculpture?
  • Design & Construction
    • Using the visuals and concept so far, compose the musical score that re-enforces the topic and end goal.
    • Embed solar panels, motor, battery and lighting into the structure.
    • Finish main structure.

July

  • Research
    • Is my sculpture fitting into the goals I have set out to achieve?
    • Deeper reflection on the overall process and am I starting to answer my exegesis question?
  • Design & Construction
    • Begin work on finishing aspects (painting and plants)

Aug

  • Research
    • Finishing up the exegesis and bringing all the thought processes together.
  • Design & Construction
    • Reflect on the design and make final alterations and submission to MCI.

Sept

  • Research
    • Collecting info and measurable feedback for my own processes.
  • Design & Construction
    • Transport and installation

 

I will start to the use the information above to mold a method around creating a repeatable process that can be modified and therefore create a model that can be measured. I will find this by looking at other models, which is where the next goal of creating a case study for the action research cycles and visual ethnography will help.

Poseidon’s Music Box (Sound Sculpture concept)

https://www.facebook.com/guycoopersculptor/

 

The Project

Continuing from my 2017 sound sculpture Migaloo’s Song (Cooper, G. 2017) I intend to design and build a large-scale sound sculpture music box, with a pre-sequenced progression of chimes that will be entered into the 2018 Swell Sculpture Festival on the Gold Coast. The sculpture will be based on coral formations, creating a large moving kinetic man-made coral piece out of steel, mirrors and succulent plant life called ‘Poseidon’s Music Box’.

I will take design cues from both coral and succulent formations and integrate the music box parts into the design. The whole sculpture will be silver, black and contain some surfaces covered in mirrors and succulent plants, helping to blend the man-made and natural elements in the sculpture. The whole structure will be powered by solar renewable energy to turn the music-box and light the structure at night time.

The piece of music generated from the sculpture will be relaxing in contrast to the social noise and chatter of the approximately 15,000 patrons visiting the Swell Sculpture Festival every day in September.

As I progress with my sculpture work, I am setting myself up with a profile of kinetic sound sculptures and geometric design work based on mathematical and patterns found in nature. My previous work ‘Migaloo’s Song’ was based on the Fibonacci Sequence with a series of circles and the song was composed to mimic and coincide to the humpback whale songs. This coral formation sculpture is based on regular quadrilaterals (squares), the rhombus, dihedral groups and will following the design cues from both coral formations, microbial life and succulent plant life.

(my sculpture concept video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jG60R8_QZY)

My interest in the construction of musical instruments has always been based on the physics of sound and acoustics and my interest in sculpting and ‘Sound Sculpture’ has been developed through my collection of music boxes and Leonardo DaVinci inspired machines over the years. I see the concept of moving towards sculpture and sound sculpture more of an addition from my music career, rather than a new field. I am not overly interested in simply creating sculptures, but more so incorporating music composition, music technology and acoustics into sculpture.

Rather than simply creating sonic environments, my interests are in musical elements and scores to be integrated into the sculptures using my background in acoustics, physics and as a musician, composer and producer.

The connection with natural elements and environmental activism is also important to me, mimicking and taking cues from nature in design and recreating these repeating patterns in my design, while attempting to enact some change and awareness in the audience in relation to the environment.

Overall the sculpture has a few aspects, but the integration of sound sculpture work in the form of a playing musical score, powered by renewable energy approaches the topic from the basis of an environmental statement against coal mining and directly how it is affecting our great barrier reef. Bringing the coral bleaching issue to the audience and making a bold connection between the coal mining in Australia.

The sculpture will be powered by recycled renewable solar energy, showing some solutions available to solve our energy crisis and avoid the reef system being killed by the use of fossil fuels and in turn climate change. In direct response to our government’s statements that renewable energy is noisy and ugly, I will also be showing that a renewable energy device can be aesthetically beautiful, fitting into the landscape down by the beach at Currumbin on the Gold Coast and sound musically pleasing while generating energy. I will also be able to use the power generated to run some LED screens that explain the issues we are facing with mining in this country and what people can do to help push our government towards renewable energy.

What I have recently found through research and exploration of the field of ‘Sound Sculpture’ is the importance of environment and audience in relation to the pieces. This aspect reappears constantly in the discussion of ‘Sound Sculpture’.

Ros Bandt discusses the location and environment of sound sculptures in relation to the audience as one of the important defining factors in his 1991 journal on ‘Public Interactive Sound Sculpture’ (Bandt. Ros, 1991). The concept that the recorded and performance-based music world is often stationary and inanimate, situated in concert halls or in front of a stereo system. He suggests that Sound Sculpture can allow participation from the listener and respects the listener as a creative participant.

The practice of sculpture for myself is based on engineering, mechanics and musical acoustics, although the aesthetic design space is integral to my creations. I have always taken cues from nature and my surroundings and I am fascinated by the geometric designs in nature from the microscopic through to the planetary evolution and forces that shape them. My interest in the biology of life and its combination with physics has been reinforced through my Astrobiology work and I have a drive to recreate this in my sculptures. The fabrication and construction work with my hands also provides a meditative practice for me and allows me to rest mentally.

Creative Merit

Public Art

For art curator Shannon Galpin, the importance of public art, is that it can bring art outside the galleries and place it in our everyday lives (Galpin, S. 2014). Inspiring and invoking change, illuminating activism and the spirt of hope in the public as they engage with it visually set amongst our everyday environment. Public art can surround us and create conversations and controversy, it forces us to have an opinion as we try to understand it’s purpose, starting a two-way conversation. Public art can reach people that may not have previously engaged with art and change their perceptions on certain topics, amplifying the voice of the artist.

The sculpture while fitting into the ‘Sound Sculpture’ field will be a machine that creates wonderment and curiosity in the audience. This in turn helps bring the viewer into understanding the concept behind the art and to draw their own conclusions from the visual and auditory stimulation. The concepts of climate change in relation to mining and the environment are common knowledge and it is my hope that the audience will connect this from their viewing of the piece.

Education

The sculpture and the research attached to the design and implementation will help to contribute to a broader body of knowledge for future sound sculptors and art activists. Through my research and ideation of this project, I will be documenting and providing insight into my processes and perspectives on both the art design aspects and how I intend to integrate the environmental activism outcomes through my art.

The artist Sanaz Mazinani in his ‘Art + Activism’ video (Mazinani, S. 2015) talks about the significance of the artist’s identity and how it becomes as important as the work itself, the understanding of the perspective in which we come from, defines the context of the work and possibly through understanding and education we can better derive a foundation for our own art. Through my work with this piece I hope to provide a case study for others to better work through their own perspectives and how to integrate their intensions into their own art. I would like to ask what is the world like today when you created your art? and how can there be a potential for change through your art?

Activism

The medium of sculpture itself, the physical art space, creates a relationship between the artist’s perspective and intension and the viewer. This physical creation forms spaces for conversation and exchange, a new narrative can be formed that engages the viewer to think about the topic of climate change and how their actions are affecting the living organisms that form the coral reefs.

I will be attempting to use sound sculpture and my creative practice to create a new narrative on the topic of climate change, A new set of questions to ask the audience through my art.

Thelma Golden expresses that art can be used to create a new narrative in her presentation ‘How art gives shape to cultural change’ VIDEO 1:55

“I was interested in why and how I could create a new story, a new narrative in art history and in the world, and to do this I knew that I had to see the way that artists work, understand the artist studio as a laboratory, imagine then reinventing the museum as a think tank and looking at the exhibition as the ultimate white paper, asking questions, providing the space to look and think about answers.” (Golden, T. 2013)

 I intend to engage my role as an artist to be a catalyst for this discussion, my intension is for my role to not simply be a content provider, but as a catalyst for change in thought processes and then in direct action.

Marcus Ellsworth also believes that art has a powerful role to play in creating change and connecting people with a new truth on an existing topic. In his 2014 TEDx talk ‘Art as activism’ (Ellsworth, M. 2014) he explains that art is a bringer of change, it has a way of connecting people, inspiring, motivating and moving people’s opinions. That we can use our art to express our truth and enact some change. I see my sculpture work as a chance to get out and tell my truth, unapologetically and without censoring myself to make the world a better place.

Dr Tammy Brown suggests the role of art in pushing for freedom, using art to educate and uplift in her video presentation ‘Art is a weapon for social change’.

“Art has the power to counteract and transcend racism, sexism, classism or any other ism that comes to mind.” (Brown, T. 2014)

Socially and politically engaged art strives to provide a counterpoint to the prevailing images of power and the stereotypes that are fed to us by the media on topics such as democracy, civil and human rights, capitalism and the environment. I suggest that all art is in sense political, as it is about a person’s views and freedom to act, freedom to express ourselves, art is about taking a position and encouraging others to feel that same emotion.

So how can I make a difference to the environment and climate change with the music in my sculpture? While there have been many commercial attempts to raise awareness and funds for the environment and climate change from famous musical artists using their presence to encourage others to take up arms, I intend to focus on my own local neighborhood. Expecting a reach globally is over-ambitious, so I intend to put my efforts towards enacting change in the audiences that will experience the sculpture first hand at the Swell Sculpture Festival in September 2018 on the Gold Coast, with an expected audience of 200,000 people.

There is a large collective of artists on the Gold Coast and Northern NSW and I intend to use my sculpture work to create a collective network of artists that can help drive a more direct change in our local governments thinking in relation to power consumption and renewable energy.

Relevant Context

Art’s Purpose

As an artist it is Important for me to have a voice, to be able to express myself, most artists I have met are driven to do this, to share their emotions with the world. Oscar Wilde was quoted in saying that “All art is quite useless”, while he was most likely being glib, I believe it is simply finding purpose or understanding in art that defines it’s use. Art allows for something that cannot be defined easily, it is difficult to quantify or qualify how anyone person will see your art or predict the ways in which it will affect people. In contradiction to Oscar Wilde, Friedrich Nietzsche said that “We have art in order not to perish from the truth”, I think that art has the ability to take from the past and present and help define what is now and how the future can be.

In Wilson’s 2016 article on ‘The Purpose of Art’, he quotes British artist Anthony Gormley in relation to art.

“Art is about one person’s expectation of and their use of their own freedom to act.” (Wilson, M. 2016)

Wilson also quotes composer Paul O’Neil in relation to great art and emotional response.

“The purpose of art is to create an emotional response in the person that is exposed to that art. And there are three categories of art; bad art, good art and great art. Bad art will elicit no emotional response in the person that is exposed to it, i.e.; a song you hear in an elevator and it does nothing to you, a picture on a wall that gives you the same emotional response as if the wall had been blank, a movie that chews up time. Good art will make you feel an emotion that you have felt before; you see a picture of a forest and you remember the last time you went fishing with your dad, you hear a song about love and you remember the last time you were in love. Great art will make you feel an emotion you have never felt before; seeing the pieta, the world-famous sculpture by Michelangelo, can cause someone to feel the pain of losing a child even if they’ve never had one.” (Wilson, M. 2016)

Perhaps then the best art should ask you what you think, prompt you to ask questions and put you into doubt. Katerina Gregos (Gregos, K. 2014) suggests that

“Art cracks open cemented opinions and challenges the given. It moves beyond the expected and the known and functions as the conscious of society” it gives voice to the other. “Art highlights important ideas, problems and issues that are sidelined or silenced due to political or economic interests. Art functions as the barometer of society, as a moral or intellectual resistance.”

In her TEDx talk she presents the following ideas,

“Art thinks about the world in its current state and reimagines it as it should be. More importantly, Art is the last frontier of unregulated free expression which is particularly important at a time when the commons public space and information are increasingly being privatized and regulated by the “Neo-liberal” order. In that sense, art is born of and advocates freedom. Artists always see a world full of opportunities, chances, potentials, possibilities and prospects, their ability to go beyond the possible and into the imaginable, should be an example and inspiration for us all.” (Gregos, K. 2014)

Sound Sculpture

In direct relation to my art as ‘Sound Sculpture’, Georgina Born discusses the extension of sound installation art in her book ‘Music, sound and space transformations of public and private experience’.

“The emergence of sound installation art in the second half of the twentieth century reflects fundamental shifts within multiple arenas: conceptions of space and space–time; the ascendancy of site within the aural imagination; the extension of music and sonic arts into expanded sculptural and architectural models; and the role of the public in relation to aesthetic experience.” (Born, G. 2013)

And Niels Van Tomme discusses the added importance of sound art in his article ‘Radical Sound Activism’.

“What is it about sound that is actually able to register a type of critique that may be different from vision, for example? There is a certain kind of intimacy with sound; it moves through time; it does in fact register the evolution and the layering of ideas.” (Van Tomme, N. 2009)

He also goes on to say that,

“It is valuable that people become aware of the emotional relations they have to themselves, to each other and to the conditions they are experiencing. That affective level becomes a form of analysis; it is by registering those things that you are also able to have an additional level of critical reflection.” (Van Tomme, N. 2009)

I would suggest that my work with sound sculpture can also blur the line between activism and art by interrogating the environment and politics that relate to my community. Creating interest through the use of sound and music within my sculpture will bring more interest and create a deeper need for understanding the piece. Making art is bringing something to the world, and sound sculpture is combining music and physical form in the guise of wonderment. 

My own searches for works relating or being called ‘Sound Sculptures’ have found works that can either generate sound and sonic textures including ‘noise’ or un-harmonious sound) such as the ‘Aeolus’ (K. 2011), works that are machines and ‘perform’ structured or pitched musical pieces, such as the Music Box at the Figment interactive sculpture garden in New York (The Music Box. 2018) and also works that simply visually represent sound, such as Penda’s soundwaves in China (Zhi, X. 2015).

Anyone of these three definitions can represent ‘Sound Sculptures’ and it seems that simply including or representing sound in a physical sculpture can define a ‘Sound Sculpture’. My interest is from a musician/composer/producer background and therefore strongly situated in the 2nd definition and creating moving kinetic sculptures that perform a pre-composed piece. I am also interested in having these kinetic sculptures powered by either natural forces or renewable energy.

Licht mentions that David Troop called sound sculpture ‘sound combined with visual art practices’ and that Schulz mentions it is ‘an art form y in which sound has become material within the context of an expanded concept of sculpture y for the most part works that are space-shaping and space-claiming in nature’ (Licht, A, 2009). And that

“Sound art holds the distinction of being an art movement that is not tied to a specific time period, geographic location or group of artists, and was not named until decades after its earliest works were produced. Indeed, the definition of term remains elusive”. (Licht, A, 2009)

Through my work on this project I hope to form a better definition of ‘Sound Sculpture’ in relation to my work and put it into perspective with my professional music career. At this stage my definition of Sound Sculpture is anything physical that generates auditory tones, I disagree that sculptures simply visually representing sound waves are ‘Sound Sculptures’.

Inspirations & References

Kinetic Artists

I am inspired by the new and I tend to be drawn to other sculptors that work the same way instead of simply recreating forms, designs and mediums that have been created before. One of my inspirations for kinetic sculpture work is Anthony Howe. I enjoy the connection between geometric design and nature and attempting to mimic that in my sculpture work. Kinetic and geometric work by artists such as Anthony Howe (Howe, A. 2015). There are many kinetic works online and these form a basis for reference. I hope to create a style and profile for myself as a sculptor with the integration of musical pieces, simple color systems, renewable energy and a connection to the environment and nature.

Sound Sculptors

I like the interactivity and integration of natural elements in Steve Mann’s Hydraulophone. It serves three main roles “as an architectural display fountain, like other large fountains that visually define a landmark, iconic representation, or the like; it provides an aquatic play experience, and it invites people of all ages to “play in the water”; it is a visual art sculpture, a sound sculpture, and a musical instrument, thus bringing art, music, culture, and play into the mix.” (Mann, S. 2006)

Harry Bertoia’s sound-producing visual works are very interesting, although he was not aware of the genre ‘Sound Sculpture’ at the time of his creations. He is quoted in saying the following.

“Man is not important. Humanity is what counts, to which, I feel, I have given my contribution. Humanity shall continue without me, but I am not going away. I am not leaving you. Every time you see some tree tops moving in the wind, you will think of me. Or you will see some beautiful flowers; you will think of me. I have never been a very religious man, not in the formal way, but each time I took a walk in the woods, I felt the presence of a superior force around me.” (Bertoia, H. 1978)

As mentions earlier I like the Cutuchogue sisters Kelly and Ashley Goeller’s Music Box and its interactivity.

“Everyone these days listens to music digitally. It’s very individual,” Ashley said. “We wanted to make it collaborative, so in order to play the song two people have to turn the handles.” (The Music Box. 2018)

Other kinetic pipe organ sculptures I have sourced for inspiration include the ‘Wave Organ’ (Wave Organ, 2016) by Peter Richards and George Gonzalez in San Francisco, which uses the wave and tidal movements to amplify the sound of water and the ocean. The Singing Tree (The Singing, Ringing Tree, 2007) by Tonkin Liu Architects in Burley, UK, a collection of steel pipes that utilise the wind to create sound. The ‘Aeolus’ at the Eden Project’ (Aeolus at the Eden Project, 2011) by Luke Jerram in the UK and the ‘Zadar Sea Organ’ (Zadar Sea Organ, 2015) by Nikola Basic in the town of Zadar in Croatia.

Sound Activist Artists

In relation to sound activist artists, Chisholm talks about composer John Luther Adams’ work with Sila and the effect of sound and music on environmental activism.

“Music is no alternative to environmental activism or climate science or direct exposure to melting ice caps, rising seas, and cataclysmic winds, but it can compose climate-change sensations that directly affect our listening, feeling, and thinking. It can even, I venture, redirect our attention outside ourselves, which is to say outside our ubiquitous, Muzak-saturated commercial environments and our global/local webs of news and social media that tend to be self-enclosing and all-absorbing.” (Chisholm, D. 2016)

While I find this work interesting, my professional work in the arts has cemented the idea of creating musical works that have appeal and interest to non-musical people as well as musicians. Simply creating a cacophony of sound and movement is no doubt art, but the lack of a cohesive format leaves most nonmusical or audio based people uninterested and disconnected.

I will be participating in Concert for the Planet on March 24th with my Migaloo Song sculpture and as part of the HOTA choir. The event will feature a globalized performance by the Gold Coast Philharmonic Orchestra, extended to include over 100 local musicians who will perform Holst’s The Planets under the baton of conductor Lachlan Snow. (https://www.absolutetheatre.com.au/single-post/2018/03/09/Gold-Coast-to-shine-for-Earth-Hour-at-Concert-for-the-Planet) I intend to use this opportunity to attach some video screens to my previous sculpture in order to drive some direct action and change in the audience.

Conclusions

To end I would like to share more from Katerina Gregos’ view on the potential of art from her TEDx talk on ‘Why art is important’. She says in relation to art that

“It’s a subtle power that changes the world one perception at a time.”.

“Art is optimistic because it makes a statement that one person can change the world” and that

“Art as an act of shared communication is in a small way saying: I make the world, I don’t simply inherit it”.

 

References

Bandt, R. (1991). Public interactive sound sculpture. Australian Journal of Music Education, (1), 5.

Bertoia, H. (2016). Bertoia Home. Retrieved March 12, 2018, from http://harrybertoia.org

Gregos, K. (2014, September 02). Why art is important – Katerina Gregos (TEDx). Retrieved March 5, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPk56BR1Cmk

Born, G. (2013). Music, sound and space transformations of public and private experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Brown, T., Dr. (2014, May 23). Art is a weapon for social change – Dr Tammy Brown (TEDx). Retrieved March 8, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o6kbRBFLdI&t=717s

Chisholm, D. (2016). Shaping an Ear for Climate Change. Environmental Humanities,8(2), 172-195. doi:10.1215/22011919-3664211

Cooper, G. (2017, September 27). Migaloo’s Song. Retrieved March 11, 2018, from http://guycooper.com.au/migaloo

Ellsworth, M. (2014, November 15). Art as activism – Marcus Ellsworth (TEDx). Retrieved March 6, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLg8LMK_Ct4&t=4s

Fontana, B. (2008). The relocation of ambient sound: urban sound sculpture. Leonardo41(2), 154-158.

Galpin, S. (2014, February 18). Art as activism – Shannon Galpin (TEDx). Retrieved March 8, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HjpZoYMw_E

Golden, T. (2013, February 24). How art gives shape to cultural change – Thelma Golden (TEDx). Retrieved March 6, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FCihq5n-hE&t=2s

Howe, A. (2015, June 12). Full Compilation of Kinetic Masterpieces by Anthony Howe. Retrieved December 13, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4l5rHNSq9s&t=918s%29

(2011, September 22). Aeolus at the Eden Project. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__YdjypIZ_o

Licht, A. (2009). Sound Art: Origins, development and ambiguities. Organised Sound14(1), 3-10.

(2015, March 10). Zader Sea Organ. Retrieved December 13, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n86pF-wQKrw

Mann, S. (2006, December 07). The Urban Beach Meets Steve Mann’s Hydraulophone. Retrieved March 2, 2018, from http://readingcities.com/index.php/toronto/C88/P4/

Mazinani, S. (2015, June 30). Art + Activism – Sanaz Mazinani. Retrieved March 6, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTp_nLgcPyU

Music Box. (2018, February 18). Retrieved March 1, 2018, from https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/314689092706602359/

(2007, January 07). The Singing, Ringing Tree. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B0hGyKV9qs&t=51s

Wilson, M. (2016). The Purpose Of Art. Retrieved March 5, 2018, from https://mildredwilson.art/blog/100310/the-purpose-of-art

Wave Organ (2016, April 24). Wave Organ. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uMRomj4VjI%29

Van Tomme, N. March 11, 2009. (2013, May 17). Radical Sound Activism – FPIF. Retrieved March 8, 2018, from http://fpif.org/radical_sound_activism/

Zhi, X. (2015, March 31). Pendas soundwave pierces the myrtle tree garden. Retrieved February 22, 2018, from https://www.designboom.com/art/penda-soundwave-500-fins-myrtle-tree-garden-xiangyang-china-03-30-2015/

Coral Pipes (cim500 & 502 Wk3)

The following is part of the blog for Guy Cooper’s Coral Pipes Sound Sculpture 2018.

Past Blogs
2017- https://guyserotonin.wordpress.com/2017/12/13/cim402-2-guy-cooper-audio-sculpture-installation-pitch-coral-pipes/
2018 #1- https://guyserotonin.wordpress.com/2018/02/12/cim500-journal-coral-pipe-sound-sculpture/
2018 #2 -https://guyserotonin.wordpress.com/2018/02/19/mci-wk2-journal/

Mind Map

What is the definition of a “Sound Sculpture”?

While I have been a music producer, musician & composer for quite a number of years and currently work professionally in the music industry and music production field, the study and creative practice of sculpting and in particular Sound Sculpting is a relatively new field to me. My first sculpture piece ‘Migaloo’s Song’ (https://guy-serotonin.wixsite.com/artgc/migaloo) was a 12m kinetic wind harp that I designed and built in 2017. It is currently the largest steel bodied string harp in the world and while I am strongly embedded in music, science, physics and nature in most of my work and hobbies, I was unaware of the term ‘Sound Sculpture’ during its creation, design and construction. It was actually only during the 2017 Swell Sculpture Festival (http://www.swellsculpture.com.au/) that I became aware of the ‘Sound Sculpture’ term from one of the judges suggesting I was on the fore-front of something I had never heard of. My interest in the construction of musical instruments has always been based on the physics of sound and acoustics, having been an acoustics lecturer for 10+ years and applying my understanding of physics and sound to my music production through many formats live and in the studio. My interest in sculpting and in particular ‘Sound Sculpture’ has been developed through my collection of music boxes and Leonardo DaVinci inspired machines over the years.

What I have recently found through research and exploration of the field of ‘Sound Sculpture’ is the importance of environment and audience in relation to the pieces. This aspect reappears constantly in the discussion of ‘Sound Sculpture’.

Ros Bandt discusses the location and environment of sound sculptures in relation to the audience as one of the important defining factors in his 1991 journal on ‘Public Interactive Sound Sculpture’ (Bandt. Ros, 1991). The concept that the recorded and performance-based music world is often stationary and inanimate, situated in concert halls or in front of a stereo system. He suggests that Sound Sculpture has the ability to allow participation from the listener and respects the listener as a creative participant.

“While experiencing sound as mass in three dimensions through time in contained spaces like wheat silos and cement water tanks, it became apparent to me that the relationship of the listener to the sound source was the most primeval and essential component for the creative act in music and that all listening really was moving sound sculpture. From the moment of birth we hear sounds resonating in the air space of the earth’s atmosphere, above, below, around, across with constant movement. If a truck approaches you from behind you know immediately you need to get out of the way, how quickly and in which direction. A flock of birds passing overhead is a multisensory delight integrating the eye and the ear, direction, mass, place, and time. Sound is physical matter with properties of speed, direction and mass which define and contain all other characteristics: pitch, duration, dynamics, timbre, articulation. Human beings are equipped with sonic detection equipment subconsciously assimilated at speeds which surpass all current technological systems. To think spatially and to properly consider the listener’s relationship to sounds is the most natural and respectful way to proceed.

Unfortunately, most musical events have lost sight of these basic truths. For the most part,the listener is positioned by demand in the concert halls of inherited Eurocentric proscenium performance with little or no opportunity to participate or explore the sound context. At home, sound playback systems are confined in the main to fixed stereo design, an entirely man made construct with little relevance to the audible universe. Rarely is the listener’s complete sense of auditory perception challenged. The relationship of the human to the sound is all too often stationary and inanimate. Spatial and creative listening are constantly underutilised. Listening as a freely moving voluntary act common in primitive and experimental musics is a behavioural form which art music may well reconsider. Sound Sculpture which allows participation from the listener redresses this balance. By carefully considering the context of the listening event, sound sculpture usually allows the perceiver to determine elements of the duration and position of the activity and/or the extent of involvement. Venues are carefully selected as these determine who listens, how and when. The outdoors, old warehouses, galleries, museums and public buildings, other than those used for musical purposes, have been the less hostile hosts of such occurrences Of nearly 90 Australian Artists in the field, few have enjoyed invitations to show their work. Most Sound Sculptures have been individually initiated and funded by those who have a greater vision for audio arts, one which respects the listener as a creative participant.” (Bandt. Ros, 1991)

One aspect that I didn’t take into account for my last sculpture was the interactive elements. I had designed the sculpture and sound to the environment by the beach down at Currumbin on the Gold Coast, but was unaware of the concepts of the environment in relation to the study of ‘Sound Sculpture’. As it was my first sculpture I decided to use the format of the Swell Sculpture Festival to help define some boundaries of what a sculpture could be. Having attended that festival in previous years, I was inspired enough and wanted to attempt to be a part of it. While sculpting is not my career and I do not intend to be undertaking it professionally, I would like to create a high enough level of professionalism so that it can fund itself. The prize money from the two awards I won last year was more than enough to continue building large-scale sculptures and although an offer was made for the sale of the piece, I decided to keep it as it now has sentimental meaning to me. The other reason being the lymphoma I was dealing with last year, I had always wanted to buy a welder and create some sculptures in my retirement, but while going through the cancer treatment it was uncertain if I would make it to retirement, so I just went for it.

After spending some time down at Currumbin and visualizing the proposed location of the sculpture, listening to the surrounding sounds, colours and landscape, I decided on an ocean theme. Initially working towards a hammerhead shark because of the connection to sound and sonar, I researched deeper into acoustics in the ocean and found a wealth of information on Humpback whales and the songs they sing (detailed in https://guyserotonin.wordpress.com/2017/04/01/migaloos-song-sculpture-whale-shaped-kinetic-wind-harp/). I now understand through research of the topic that the location and environment of the ‘Sound Sculpture’ is integral to the sound it generates and how this perception affects the audience and listeners. Migaloo’s Song was not interactive but did fit into the landscape and complement the environment, I had intended to bring the sound of the ocean and the Humpback whale’s to land through the sculpture, creating a connection between the people and these animals which are not usually experienced in such close proximity.

As Alan Licht discusses in his 2009 article ‘Sound Art: Origins, development and ambiguities'(Licht, A, 2009), the term ‘Sound Sculpture’ was not named until decades after its earliest works were produced, which seems fitting to my exploration of the topic.

“Sound art holds the distinction of being an art movement that is not tied to a specific time period, geographic location or group of artists, and was not named until decades after its earliest works were produced. Indeed, the definition of term remains elusive. Bernd Schulz has written of it as ‘an art form y in which sound has become material within the context of an expanded concept of sculpture y for the most part works that are space-shaping and space-claiming in nature’ (Schulz 2002: 14). David Toop has called it ‘sound combined with visual art practices’ (Toop 2000: 107). The glossary of the anthology Audio Culture describes it as a ‘general term for works of art that focus on sound and are often produced for gallery or museum installation’ (Cox and Warner 2004: 415). Bill Fontana has referred to his sound installations and real-time transmissions as ‘sound sculptures’ but that term has also been applied to sound-producing visual works by Harry Bertoia, the Baschet Brothers, and many others. Unlike music, which has a fixed time duration (usually calculated around a concert programme length, or more recently the storage capacity of LP, tape, or compact disc formats), a sound art piece, like a visual artwork, has no specified timeline; it can be experienced over a long or short period of time, without missing the beginning, middle or end.” (Licht, A, 2009)

Licht mentions that David Troop called it ‘sound combined with visual art practices’ and that Schulz mentions it is ‘an art form y in which sound has become material within the context of an expanded concept of sculpture y for the most part works that are space-shaping and space-claiming in nature’ (Licht, A, 2009).

My own searches for works relating or being called ‘Sound Sculptures’ have found works that can either generate sound and sonic textures including ‘noise’ or un-harmonious sound) such as the ‘Aeolus’ (http://www.jazjaz.net/2012/03/aeolus-giant-acoustic-sculpture.html), works that are machines and ‘perform’ structured or pitched musical pieces, such as the Music Box at the Figment interactive sculpture garden in New York (https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/314689092706602359/) and also works that simply visually represent sound, such as Penda’s soundwaves in China (https://www.designboom.com/art/penda-soundwave-500-fins-myrtle-tree-garden-xiangyang-china-03-30-2015/).

Anyone of these three definitions can represent ‘Sound Sculptures’ and it seems that simply including or representing sound in a physical sculpture can define a ‘Sound Sculpture’. My interest is from a musician/composer/producer background and therefore strongly situated in the 2nd definition and creating moving kinetic sculptures that perform a pre-composed piece. I am interested in having these kinetic sculptures powered by either natural forces or renewable energy. Migaloo’s Song was powered by the wind and the wind speed determined the tempo and also the direction of the score. I feel that I would like to attempt to have the pieces of music not defined in a structured linear form, but instead attempt to have that form determined by either the audience or natural energy forces, while still remaining harmonious and pitched to structured music theory scales and keys.

How I intend to utilise this research in my sculpture.

My definition of ‘Sound Sculpture’.

 

 

Bandt, R. (1991). Public interactive sound sculpture. Australian Journal of Music Education, (1), 5.

Licht, A. (2009). Sound Art: Origins, development and ambiguities. Organised Sound14(1), 3-10.

Fontana, B. (2008). The relocation of ambient sound: urban sound sculpture. Leonardo41(2), 154-158.

 

Migaloo’s Song sculpture heading to Concert for the Planet on March 24th

Migaloo’s Song will be lifting off again and heading to Home of the Arts for the Concert for the Planet on March 24th to help celebrate Earth Hour.
He will be singing his song and our HOTA Choir will also be performing on the day. Guy Cooper Sculptor

https://www.facebook.com/events/182512795686997/

Being Jane Lane / Unwritten Law / Big Gay Day / SoCo OWeek / Straightline upcoming shows & supports

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Being Jane Lane has a string of upcoming shows including securing the support slot for US punk band UNWRITTEN LAW at The Zoo in Brisbane on Feb 25th. The band has been busy in the studio working on their new album and follow up to the ‘SAILBOAT’ single with Guy Cooper from Human Records and Serotonin Productions.

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Their hard work and infectiously high energy stage shows were rewarded last year, with the band winning the coveted PEOPLES CHOICE AWARD at the Gold Coast Music Awards and have also been added to the lineup for the 2018 Big Gay Day on March 11th. You can also catch the ladies tonight at Soco Oweek at the Parkwood Tavern on the Gold Coast with The Lonesomes and Cakes and also supporting German skate/thrash punkers Straightline and Melbournes Blind Man Death Stare on March 10th at the Bloodhound Bar in Brisbane.
Please get online and head to www.beingjanelane.com to check out the bands 2016 EP, the Sailboat single, upcoming shows and sign up to get the latest news and a free song download.

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LANE-HARRY x IKE CAMPBELL THE DASH single hits 130,000k & 360 tour supports + Surfers Paradise LIVE shows

The Dash ARTWORK FINAL 2000

The latest single THE DASH from Lane-Harry x Ike Campbell is killing it on Spotify and with Triple J. Racking up over 35,000 listeners a month and just hit 130,000 plays on Spotify. The Gold Coast duo are also all set to support 360 on his ‘Vintage Modern’ tour next week for the Brisbane shows on March 3rd and 4th. 360 recently named them the artists to watch in 2018 (https://otchiphop.com/2018/02/06/whos-next-360/amp/).

Fresh from taking out album of the year at the Gold Coast music awards in 2017 for YOUTH, having poured countless hours into the writing and production of the album, the duo and label decided to make YOUTH a free album for all their fans that have helped bring them to where they are today, which you can check out at www.lanexike.com.

360 Vintage Modern Tour

The boys are busy in the studio again working on a follow up to THE DASH and planning some upcoming live shows, including a free concert alongside Daryl Braithwaite, Jon Stevens and Kate Ceberano as part of the Surfers Paradise LIVE festival on the Gold Coast in May. 2018 is set to be a huge year for the duo and their indie label Human Records with some big announcements coming soon as they work on the new album CASABLANCA. Touring continues following shows supporting 360, Allday, Seth Sentry, Ivan Ooze, Tkay Maidza, David Dallas, Remi, USA hiphop lords Tech N9ne and Brother Ali.

SURFERS LIVE

Lane has also been busy working on his Saint Lane solo project down in Sydney with Dan from the Griswalds and Duestch Duke. The video for THE DASH is worth a watch (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLV7tYXTdXY) filmed and directed by Swedish filmmaker Nils Nilsson (Pirates of the Caribbean, San Andreas) and Lane & Ike sparring off in Kung-Fu style battle.

The ethereal soundscape of Lane-Harry x Ike Campbell is not to be missed, an act that will go down as one of the defining sounds at the forefront of the golden era of hiphop music in Australia. The two charismatic young men plan on breaking past all creative ceilings and influence the artists of the future. Not only are they delivering gorgeous sounds and visuals but their mesmerizing fashion, emerging celebrity status & wild personalities are making them true game changers.

Generation Y has a new face and that face is that of Lane-Harry x Ike Campbell. Be sure to check out the new single at http://www.lanexike.com

Poseidon’s Music Box Journal Jan 2018

WEEK 2 Journal and processes

The mindset in shifting from professional producer & musician to sound sculptor.

I see the concept of moving towards sculpture and particular sound sculpture more of an addition from my music career, rather than a new field. I am not overly interested in simply creating sculptures, but more so incorporating music composition, music technology and acoustics into sculpture.

What defines a sculpture?
The definition of what a sculpture can be is open for interpretation, simply calling a physical creation a sculpture or art is enough to place it into that space. From discussion with other sculptures and sculpture festival curators, the only definitive and common response is that it occupies a physical space, digital sculptures and projection work are referred to as installations and not sculptures.

What is sound sculpture?
The term sound sculpture can refer to a wide array of different ideals, from pieces that create a sonic auditory texture, pieces that re-produce a composition either acoustically or via digital playback and also sculptures that represent sound visually.

 

PRACTICE
The environment, meditation, nature and connection to relaxation.
The practice of sculptiung for myself is more based on engineering and mechanics than art forms, though the design space is integral to my creations. I have always taken cues from nature and my surroundings and I am fascinated by the geometric designs in nature from the microscopic through to the planetary evolution and forces that shape them. My interest in the biology of life and its combination with physics has been reinforced through my Astrobiology study and work and I have a drive to recreate this in my work.

Mechanics and fabrication.
I have always been interested in mechanics and fabrication, pulling things apart and wanting to know how things work, some people turn on the light switch and the light comes on, I want to know how and why the light comes on, where does the power come from, how is it created, how does the bulb work and can it work better. I work a lot with my hands and it provides a calming and satisfying mode for me. If I am stressed, occupying my hands with anything from piano to playstation, construction to gardening, gives me a meditative practice that allows me to rest mentally.

The mechanics of sound and instruments.
As a musician and an acoustic technician, I have long been interested in the mechanics of sound and particularly instruments. I have built quite a few of my own instruments from guitars through to pianos and unique pan flutes.

Inspired by the new, find other sculptors that work the same way.

Organic inspiration,

Energy and Vibration

Repeating geometric patterns

Kinetic sculpture

 

DISCOURSE

Creating a system for cataloguing the thinking, processes and thoughts.

TIE DOWN THE HISTORY FIRST, SURVEY THE HISTORY OF THE IDEA, Sound Sculptures and the global scene

What has others work inspired me and what I liked in others work. PINTEREST BOARD – https://pin.it/iqkm7lzbnzcixd

My dropbox for this sculpture – https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xtfogf48rf6cl3k/AABtctHX4JSmNdqrivVkBtBva?dl=0

Visualizing Sound
http://www.artmuseum.msu.edu/exhibitions/current/VisualizingSound/

https://www.designboom.com/art/penda-soundwave-500-fins-myrtle-tree-garden-xiangyang-china-03-30-2015/

Steve Mann’s Hydraulophone
http://readingcities.com/index.php/toronto/C88/P4/

“The hydraulophone that is now the main centerpiece out in front of the Ontario Science Centre serves three main roles:

  1. it is an architectural display fountain, like other large fountains that visually define a landmark, iconic representation, or the like;
  2. it provides an aquatic play experience, and it invites people of all ages to “play in the water”;
  3. it is a visual art sculpture, a sound sculpture, and a musical instrument, thus bringing art, music, culture, and play into the mix.This lends itself to a nice double-entendre: “The Key to good music is to PLAY in the water”, i.e. “play” as in playing a musical instrument (or having fun playing
    around on a sound sculpture even if you are not musical), and “play” as in what you would do in a playground or aquatic play area.”

 

Harry Bertoia
http://harrybertoia.org/
Man is not important. Humanity is what counts, to which, I feel, I have given my contribution. Humanity shall continue without me, but I am not going away. I am not leaving you. Every time you see some tree tops moving in the wind, you will think of me. Or you will see some beautiful flowers; you will think of me. I have never been a very religious man, not in the formal way, but each time I took a walk in the woods, I felt the presence of a superior force around me.”
Harry Bertoia, Oct 9, 1978.

Cutuchogue sisters Kelly and Ashlet Goeller’s Music Box.
http://suffolktimes.timesreview.com/2013/05/39743/sisters-building-a-giant-interactive-music-box/

“Everyone these days listens to music digitally. It’s very individual,” Ashley said. “We wanted to make it collaborative, so in order to play the song two people have to turn the handles.”

What is Sound Scultpure?
“While experiencing sound as mass in three dimensions through time in contained spaces like wheat silos and cement water tanks, it became apparent to me that the relationship of the listener to the sound source was the most primeval and essential component for the creative act in music and that all listening really was moving sound sculpture . From the moment of birth we hear sounds resonating in the air space of the earth’s atmosphere, above, below, around, across with constant movement. If a truck approaches you from behind you know immediately you need to get out of the way, how quickly and in which direction. A flock of birds passing overhead is a multisensory delight integrating the eye and the ear, direction, mass, place, and time. Sound is physical matter with properties of speed, direction and mass which define and contain all other characteristics: pitch, duration, dynamics, timbre, articulation. Human beings are equipped with sonic detection equipment subconsciously assimilated at speeds which surpass all current technological systems. To think spatially and to properly consider the listener’s relationship to sounds is the most natural and respectful way to proceed.

Unfortunately, most musical events have lost sight of these basic truths. For the most part,the listener is positioned by demand in the concert halls of inherited Eurocentric proscenium performance with little or no opportunity to participate or explore the sound context. At home, sound playback systems are confined in the main to fixed stereo design, an entirely man made construct with little relevance to the audible universe. Rarely is the listener’s complete sense of auditory perception challenged. The relationship of the human to the sound is all too often stationary and inanimate. Spatial and creative listening are constantly underutilised. Listening as a freely moving voluntary act common in primitive and experimental musics is a behavioural form which art music may well reconsider. Sound Sculpture which allows participation from the listener redresses this balance. By carefully considering the context of the listening event, sound sculpture usually allows the perceiver to determine elements of the duration and position of the activity and/or the extent of involvement. Venues are carefully selected as these determine who listens, how and when. The outdoors, old warehouses, galleries, museums and public buildings, other than those used for musical purposes, have been the less hostile hosts of such occurrences Of nearly 90 Australian Artists in the field, few have enjoyed invitations to show their work. Most Sound Sculptures have been individually initiated and funded by those who have a greater vision for audio arts, one which respects the listener as a creative participant.” (Bandt. Ros, 1991)

Also,

“Sound art holds the distinction of being an art movement that is not tied to a specific time period, geographic location or group of artists, and was not named until decades after its earliest works were produced. Indeed, the definition of term remains elusive. Bernd Schulz has written of it as ‘an art form y in which sound has become material within the context of an expanded concept of sculpture y for the most part works that are space-shaping and space-claiming in nature’ (Schulz 2002: 14). David Toop has called it ‘sound combined with visual art practices’ (Toop 2000: 107). The glossary of the anthology Audio Culture describes it as a ‘general term for works of art that focus on sound and are often produced for gallery or museum installation’ (Cox and Warner 2004: 415). Bill Fontana has referred to his sound installations and real-time transmissions as ‘sound sculptures’ but that term has also been applied to sound-producing visual works by Harry Bertoia, the Baschet Brothers, and many others. Unlike music, which has a fixed time duration (usually calculated around a concert programme length, or more recently the storage capacity of LP, tape, or compact disc formats), a sound art piece, like a visual artwork, has no specified timeline; it can be experienced over a long or short period of time, without missing the beginning, middle or end.” (Licht, A, 2009)

Iljadica, M. (2016). Is a Sculpture ‘Land’? Conveyancer & Property Lawyer, (3), 242-250.

Bandt, R. (1991). Public interactive sound sculpture. Australian Journal of Music Education, (1), 5.

Fontana, B. (2008). The relocation of ambient sound: urban sound sculpture. Leonardo41(2), 154-158.

Licht, A. (2009). Sound Art: Origins, development and ambiguities. Organised Sound14(1), 3-10.

 

PRACTICIONER

Sculptures with organic elements and inspiration

What is my creative drive?

What is my creative process, what is my creative purpose?

Why do I do this?

How can I help causes that have meaning to me?

Why do I enter sculpture festivals?

Make self renound for sound sculptures.

When looking at the practice How does mine fit into the global scale, what sets me apart, what aspects of physics defines better for the audience.

 

CONCLUSIONS

Refining my inspiration and drive, why I do this, how I can help, how this can help.

The way in which I articulate and reflect every thought and inspiration.

Moving towards an outcome that helps inspire change, environmental and social change.

My current sculpture “Land Coral”

Sketch1.jpg