"Resounding the Environment"
Touch the walls and they’ll talk to you. In Christy Matson’s installation of long, jacquard-woven textiles that resemble old printouts of computer data, even the slightest brush causes one fabric to emit the dreaded sounds of computer glitches; another imitates a saw cutting through metal, while a third ticks like a metronome. As its name suggests, “Resounding the Environment” focuses on sound art, giving the usually overlooked medium the attention it deserves.
In Interval, Lou Mallozzi alternates intervals of piano playing with random, heavy breathing, helping listeners hit on the significance of the piece’s title yet failing to strike any meaningful chords. Mark Booth examines silent spaces in This Is the Sound of the Milky Way, but any interest this paradox generates is canceled out by the piece’s monotonous narration. Sabrina Raaf’s pieces look like miniature alien environments: In There’s No Life Here (Eat me), the transmission tower embedded in the corner of an oblong, cerulean structure quivers and generates radio waves when people walk nearby. The sculpture’s fine workmanship is more impressive than its almost imperceptible sound and motion.
By marrying sound and installation perfectly, Shawn Decker’s The Night Sounds steals the show. Four steel buckets hang from the ceiling on piano wire. A motor taps the strings—speeding up until the entire space sounds like a mad cricket gathering—but then the frenzy slows down, along with the viewer’s anxiety. Decker’s stunning piece rounds out a show that has a unique premise but doesn’t quite fulfill its potential.