Arter presents sound installation by Bill Fontana
Curated by Melih Fereli, the exhibition is the world premiere of the eponymous work commissioned by Arter.
Fontana is internationally known for his pioneering experiments in sound. He has consistently used sound as a sculptural medium to interact with and transform our perceptions of visual and architectural spaces.
Applying his knowledge of composition, he draws out patterns of sound from the natural and man-made worlds to create sound works with the potential to conjure up visual imagery in the mind of the listener.
The multi-channel sound and video installation is a unique addition to Fontana’s series “Acoustical Visions,” which explores the image that a sound “makes” and the sound that an image “creates.”
“Resounding Io” is based on research surveys conducted by Fontana in Istanbul, whereby the artist made videos and sound recordings, some underwater, at numerous locations along the Bosphorus, as well as in two Byzantine cisterns, namely the Theodosius Cistern and the Basilica Cistern.
The relocating of the sound data Fontana collected in Istanbul with a portable recording studio, consisting of an 8-channel digital recorder, acoustic microphones, hydrophones and accelerometers, was achieved by way of playing them via loudspeakers in the Basilica Cistern at night, which generated an incredible response from the huge void/vaults of the structure, a variety of reverberation, which in turn were recorded as the final composition through a method called “resounding.”
The work is titled in reference to the mythological story of Io, who gave its name to the Bosphorus. Io, in Greek mythology, was regarded as the first priestess of Hera, the wife of Zeus. Zeus fell in love with Io and, to protect her from the wrath of Hera, changed her into a white heifer. Hera then sent a gadfly to torment Io, who therefore wandered all over the earth, crossed the Ionian Sea trying to flee from the gadfly, and swam the strait that was thereafter known as the Bosphorus (literally meaning Ox-Ford).
Taking full advantage of the advanced technical features of Arter’s performance space Karbon, “Resounding Io” creates a sensual and dynamic world, where visitors are invited to participate in an immersive experience, which will transform their perception of time and space through audio-visual compositions.
The exhibition will be on view through Dec. 4.
Relationship between image and sound
Many of Fontana’s works create live listening networks that collect information from sources as diverse as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the Millennium Bridge in London, the beaches of Normandy, fog horns in San Francisco, old-growth forests, hydroelectric turbines and urban environments.
From the late ’90s until the present, Fontana’s projects have explored hybrid listening technologies using acoustic microphones, underwater sensors (hydrophones) and structural/material sensors (accelerometers). His more recent works are explorations of the relationship between image and sound, expressed through the combined mediums of audio and video.
He has realized sound sculptures, public art commissions and radio projects for museums and broadcast organizations around the world.
In 2013, he was the recipient of the “Prix Ars Electronica Collide@CERN,” a prize taking digital creativity to new dimensions by colliding the minds of scientists and the imaginations of artists. Acoustic Time Travel was created during his residency alongside a CERN cosmologist and transformed the Large Hadron Collider into the world’s largest acoustic instrument.