PURCHASE, NY.- New Media: What, on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art through June 26, 2005, is the second of five focused exhibitions that sample and contextualize electronic artwork. New Media: What examines sound-based art, including Messa di Voce by Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman, an installation for voice and interactive media; evoë by Motomichi Nakamura, four looped animations with music by Otto von Schirach; and a rotating selection of audio pieces featuring digital sampling, manipulation and generation, soundmapping, and micro-sound.
Messa di Voce invites visitors to vocalize into microphones set in front of a projection. Voices are then transformed into a rain of balls, smoke whorls, cartoon costumes and line drawings, depending on pitch, volume and phonetics. Collaborating under the name Tmema, artist/engineer/composer Golan Levin is interested in developing artifacts and events that explore new modes of interactive expression, and Zachary Lieberman, an artist/engineer/educator, focuses on the exploration of the creative and human uses of technology. Frequently taking inspiration from cartoon language, the artists’ aim is to make speech visible by presenting new forms of computer interface.
Tmema’s interest in phonesthesia, or phonetic symbolism, is at the heart of the Messa di Voce project. According to this theory, the sounds of words tend to reflect, to some extent, associated connotations from other perceptual domains such as shape or texture. Messa di Voce, an Italian expression that means "placing the voice," is an audiovisual performance in which the speech, shouts and songs produced by two abstract vocalists are radically augmented in real-time by custom interactive visualization software. The project’s core metaphors are vocal sound painting, with participants “painting with their mouth”; modules about sound responsive costume; and a sound responsive environment.
Motomichi Nakamura is well known for his digital animations and interactive website www.motomichi,com. evoë’s cyclical animations are based on the Greek myths of Dionysus, and feature text from Euripides’s The Bacchae. Using a techno/industrial mix, the Miami-based artist Otto von Schirach has scored the graphically intense visuals. evoë explores the meaning of Dionysus and the balance between self-control and emotional freedom. Look for New Media: Where; New Media: When; and New Media: Who in 2006/2007. New Media: What has been curated by Jacqueline Shilkoff, Neuberger Museum of Art Assistant Curator.