German sound artist, and former Comme Des Garcon collaborator, Florian Hecker has just opened an exhibtion of newly commissioned works at the Ikon Eastside gallery in Birmingham, England.
Possibly because of its lack of visual presence, sound sculpturehas become an underated artform, and Hecker is one of the masters of the medium with this exhibition focusing solely on the feelings and ambience sound can create in a super minimal set up that sees a an empty room adorned with little more than a set of speakers.
The simplicity is only aesthetic though as the exhibition uses a series of complex pieces to examine sound in relation to the human body and place, problematising and disrupting spatial perception.
A trail of four independent electro-acoustic works intensifies to become increasingly abstract through movement in the gallery space. The visual simplicity of groups of speakers sits in stark contrast to the sonic experience. Installed close to the entrance, Magnitude Estimation (2010) uses the most
recognisable sound, a human voice, reciting the loudness values of a given sound. The words are emitted simultaneously from another loudspeaker
opposite, doubling the voice and thus the significance and measurement of what is heard.
2×3 Kanal (2×3 channel), (2009) consists of two separate 3-channel pieces in which sound seems to rotate simultaneously – one clockwise, the other counter-clockwise – around the three speakers. Progressively abstract sounds see the installation culminating in Auditory Scene (5 fold) (2010), a five-channel work in which the perception of a sequence of tones changes
according to the listener’s position within the space.
Visit the Florian Hecker at Ikon Eastside until 20th June.