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Sounds to Tabakalera: A New Way of Seeing, Living and Hearing the Galleries
Edwin van der Heide – LSP-Tabakalera.

SAN SEBASTIAN.- From July 11th to September 27th a new way of seeing, living and hearing Tabakalera will be open. An exhibition-tour will take the visitor through sound installations, sculptures, interactive audiovisual pieces… proposing a new way of discovering the building guided by the sound.

Twelve international and local artists present their projects at Tabakalera. Works created specifically for the exhibition enter into conversation with others that have been adapted to the building’s impressive spaces. All these artists in Sounds to Tabakalera work on sound experimentation and research, and the common element of their projects is the relation they establish between the visitors and the space that surround them.

Together with the artistic interventions, both the public and the building itself become also active agents in Sounds to Tabakalera. The artworks transform the perception of the space, and at the same time, many of the pieces get transformed thanks to the interaction with the visitors. Thus, these three elements are closely tied and they even become inter-dependents.

Other important caractheristic of Sounds to Tabakalera is that many of the spaces occupied by the exhibition-tour have never been used before for exhibition purposes. In addition to being an exhibition dedicated to sound art, Sounds to Tabakalera also invites us to get to know a building as emblematic as Tabakalera.

Achim Wollscheid is an artist whose work has spearheaded the experimental music movement in recent decades. His research has led him to a deeper understanding of the relationship between sound, light and architectural spaces, as shown in his highly interactive pieces. He was a founding member of the groundbreaking German group Selektion, an organisation that produces and distributes information systems.

In Wollscheid’s work, the artistic object becomes a system that responds to a specific situation. Light systems that respond to sounds or devices that react to human movement both have considerable presence in his installations. In this way, the work of art is not just a mere physical object; rather it becomes a tool that crosses the limits of social space.

PE LANG (Switzerland)
Pe Lang is a sound artist based in Zurich and Berlin. His work includes sound installations, live performances and compositions, which have all been displayed in important festivals and galleries. His work is based on elegant and minimal kinetic systems, combined with different devices created by the artist himself, which are used as sources of sound.

Falling Objects: one
The piece, which will be exhibited for the first time in Tabakalera, is made up of 12 devices and 100,000 metal spheres. Just like a kind of frozen rain, these 12 “dispensing” machines drop small metal balls from the ceiling, which, in turn, generate a kind of random music. However, far beyond the objective of generating music is the way this mechanism helps us to become aware of the properties of space through the act of listening.

The work of Will Schrimshaw is based on interaction with the environment through sound. This concern is materialised through the use of specifically built devices that, as interactive tools, generate situations in which visitors and/or passers-by become sound generators. His work uses the role of sound as a catalyst for movement and a material for the construction of active spaces.

Little Helpers draw special attention to the resonating properties of matter. They act as vibrational prostheses, extending and enhancing the material force in sound and its impact on the environment. These devices occupy architectural spaces in order to demonstrate the sound qualities of the elements that constitute them, which usually go unheard.

LEERRAUM [ ] (Switzerland)
LEERRAUM [ ] is a network, group and record company made up of artists interested in the study of space, shape and structure, based on a reductionist approach and the careful but radical handling of materials. LEERRAUM [ ] organises sound installations, exhibitions or events and publishes limited editions of CDs, DVDs and other objects in collaboration with these artists. LEERRAUM [ ] is currently made up of 45 artists of 15 different nationalities.

For this exhibition, the group presents a multichannel sound installation that invites us to listen and relax. The compositions that make up this installation pay special attention to the relationships between sound and space, through the work of artists such as Asher, Andy Graydon, Richard Garet, Kenneth Kirschner, Yuzo Kako, Fourm, Mahmoud Refat, Mise en Scene, Pe Lang, Marihiko Hara and Zimoun.

Marcello Liberato engenders and creates music every day. His pieces explore the varying nature of sound and the endless mysteries associated with the experience of listening, generating situations that permeate the senses. In order to do this he mainly uses materials that have been rescued and recycled from the world around us, thus turning everyday things into art and making artistic experience a daily adventure.

We are constantly coming across mazes in the spaces that surround us; cities and houses can be mazes, as can our own ears. Liberato presents us with a labyrinthine space created with different material and elements, a maze that should be travelled using one’s sense of hearing, that should be understood through listening. A journey from noise to silence. In short, a maze inside a maze.

ºSONE Christophe Havard, Hughes Germain, Yannick Dauby (France)
ºSONE (read “osone”) is a group of French sound artists who work on the relationships between architecture and sound. They create their projects in factories, workshops and other spaces, with the aim of extracting the “music” that these places have inside them in order to subsequently build musical compositions. In short, through this type of exercises, ºSone turns rooms, buildings and other architectural elements into musical instruments.

The piece to be presented by the group in Tabakalera is based on an acoustic analysis of the different elements that constitute the building. Through the vibration of doors, windows, walls and floors, the factory takes on a life of its own and makes us listen to its voice, turning the artist into a kind of active intermediary or trigger.

JUAN JOSÉ ARANGUREN (Donostia – San Sebastián)
A sculptor from San Sebastian, Juan José Aranguren has participated in several highly educational artistic projects, such as Arteniño (’83-’90) or the subsequent Ikertze laboratories (’90-’99). Since then he has worked mainly in sculpture and film on his own and as part of groups, such as Zine Animau (visual/sound multi-screening facilities). He has participated in group and individual exhibitions and has won several prizes for his sculptures.

Scores of Silence
Scores of Silence is an attempt to represent a very important concept in sound language – silence represented through visual language. They are exercises in the disoccupation of the Flat Space through the Line (understood as a frontier, as a Continent). That’s why both the painted lines and those that are unmarked but remain present (real, one-dimensional lines without thickness) are so important, as they create different flat spaces, blank, empty, silent and at play with each other.

PATXI ARAUJO (Iruñea-Pamplona)
Artist and professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of the Basque Country. His broad experience inspires his research into interactive and immersive stage design applications in visual programming environments. He has participated in many exhibitions, both individually and with other artists, and has received prizes and special mentions in a range of different international art competitions.

H.D.H corresponds to a visualisation of information understood as a visual and sound-based landscape. The work projects the view of the horizon resting on a synthetic sea, which in turn transforms its structure and sonority. In H.D.H. the order, frequency, quality and quantity of these elements are produced through the sound of a video signal and the presence of the interactor. As a result, H.D.H. creates a swell deriving from the videographic noise, eventually lifting the waves and wind according to the movement and position of the spectator/interactor.

Mikel Arce has a degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Basque Country, where he majored in Audiovisual Arts, and has been a professor in the same faculty since 1983. In recent years he has created several installations, always based on the phenomenon of sound.

*.WAV is a sound sculpture that attempts to materialise sound, exchanging listening for feeling, which is simultaneously dimensional and tangible, in an exercise in observing and relaxing the senses. In this way, by using water as a material within a structure made up of 4 trays, we can visualise a sequenced composition of 4 extremely low sound frequencies. As a result, the water is modelled, “sculpted” and controlled, as if it were some kind of plastic material.

EDWIN VAN DER HEIDE (The Netherlands)
Edwin van der Heide works on the crossroads between sound, space and interaction. His work cannot be easily defined as sound art or media art as he works on the border between the two disciplines. In this sense, the medium used for his work does not only mediate but is also explored and redefined each time.

In 1815 the scientist Nathaniel Bowditch described a way of creating visual patterns by using a sine wave. These waves can also produce audible tones and it is therefore possible to establish relationships between sound and image. In this sense, the work entitled LSP looks into the relationship between sound and the three-dimensional image through the use of digital sounds and laser projections. By combining these elements, the artist plays with the perception of space, creating sensory illusions that, through synaesthesia, allow the audience to change their perspective of space.

Tabakalera | Achim Wollscheid | Pe Lang | Will Schrimshaw | Marcello Liberato | Christophe Havard | Hughes Germain | Yannick Dauby |

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