Eclectic I

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Technology Journal Week 1 Submission

Forum speaker Robin Minard

A pioneer in the world of Sound Installation, Robin Minard was born in 1953 Montreal Canada and began his industrious career studying music composition at the University of Western Ontario Canada. *1 Deciding it would help further his career as a composer, Minard moved to Berlin in 1984, where he encountered Muzak (“a type of Environmental music piped into public buildings in order to create a specific atmosphere or mood." *2) in railway stations and various other public arenas. Seeing this as what he described as a form of “behaviour control *3” he moved into the field of sound installation as a direct reaction and furthermore a direct challenge against Muzak. This makes me think of the giant T.V. at Adeladie station. I would like to do something simmilar as a reaction agianst that.

Beginning his journey with experimentation with sound in space, and how different sounds directly affected the sense of the space you are in through the use of a slow movement from low to high frequencies, he has continued to explore Installation Art up to the present day.

Minard has described Installation Art as something that “has a direct relationship to what the piece is and the space the piece is in. It is supporting the space with the piece, not the other way around. *4” This is exactly what he achieves with all of his Installations. From a Horticultural Installation which consisted of small greenhouses with speakers playing sounds from the surrounding environment whenever someone walked by, to placing 576 1-bit speakers in an abandoned swimming pool playing the same 1-bit noise at random intervals from random speakers.

His latest Installation “silent music” being showcased as part of the “2006 Adelaide Festival of Arts, Project 3 *5” is a series of small speakers arrayed so they resemble organic plant life. Played through these speakers at a soft and barely audible volume, are synthetic sounds that (like the actual speakers themselves) resemble a natural and organic environment. The result (deduced from attending the installation) is a “background” environment with a contemplative aesthetic. *6

Listening to Minard discuss his various works gave some interesting insight to a field I knew little about. It has also given me an appreciating ear for the sounds in the environment around me and the way the space in which I listen to things affects what I am listening too.

Audio Arts

This lesson served as an introduction to audio arts and gave an outline of the things that were going to be covered in the lesson and the assessment requirements. A brief tour of the recording space was given with the general rules that needed to be adhered such as “no food or drink in the recording space and mobile phones to be turned off in the recording space due to the electrical interference they cause with speakers etc.*7 ” Readings were also set as homework

Creative Computing

Similar to the “Audio Arts” lesson, this was just an introductory lesson with a general subject outline and a description of the equipment within the Macintosh Computer lab. The “no food or drink” rule was reiterated for the “Mac” Lab and readings were set.

*1 Canadian Music Centre. “Find a composer.” Robin Minard. 1988. (3 March 10, 2006.)

*2 Oxford University Press “Muzak.” 2006. (10 March 2006).

*3 Robin Minard. “Robert Minard and his history in sound Installation” Lecture presented at University of Adelaide, 2 March 2006.

*4 Robin Minard. “Robert Minard and his history in sound Installation” Lecture presented at University of Adelaide, 2 March 2006.

*5 Project 3 “Contemporary and historical electronic arts,
Sound, Video, Installation and Artist Talks.” 6- 26 March 2006. (10 March 2006).

*6 Minard, Robin. Quiet Music. Sound Installation. Adelaide Festival Centre Arts Space, Adelaide. 6 March 2006.

*7 Christian Haines. “The EMU recording space” lecture presented at University of Adelaide, 28 February 2006.

Picture Refrences (in order of appearance.)

#1 Unknown. "Robin Minard." 2006 (1 June 2006).


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