The Kinetics of Sound


London's Spitalfields area is most notorious for its old market but since the Fall of 2006 it has also been drawing attention for its peculiar new exhibition space--the first of its kind in the UK--the Kinetica Museum. Its mission is to 'actively encourage the convergence of art and technology, providing an exhibition space in central London where the most important examples of kinetic, technological, and electronic art, both past and present, can be properly stored and displayed.' Currently on view, 'Soundwaves' exemplifies the Kinetica Museum's mission. A collaboration with the Cybersonica festival, this exhibition presents fifteen pioneering UK and European artists that have developed projects that 'explore, warp, collect, and manipulate sound.' According to the organizers, some of the highlights of the show are: 'An orchestra of household objects by Pierre Bastien; interactive sound and shadow circuit bending sculptures by Peter Vogel; kinetic electro-acoustic sculptures by Max Eastley; Rob Mullender's photophonic sound synthesizer; Martin Riches robotic and kinetic sound machines; a phonetic voice theremin by Michael Markett; receiver and transmitting dialogue devices by Julie Freeman; an interactive percussive installation by Andy Huntingdon; and a new piece by artist Arcangel Constantini.' The May 18 opening event included a series of performances by some of the featured artists and brought together musical and visual traditions alongside new technologies to create experimental work, demonstrating that sound is one of the most challenging yet promising media for contemporary artistic practices. - Miguel Amado