In her second exhibition with Fridman Gallery, Aura Satz focuses on voices of female electronic music pioneers, and on sound signals as symbols of communication and disobedience. Included are a series of drawings, two sound sculptures, and a 16mm film.
Dial Tone Drone (2014) is a sound piece for telephone, originally commissioned to play from the 1924 red telephone kiosk. Featuring conversations with composers Laurie Spiegel and Pauline Oliveros, set against excerpts of their drone compositions, the piece examines the dial tone as a vehicle for connecting voices, tuning in, and listening to sustained notes.
She Recalibrates (2018) is a series of drawings of hands of women who contributed to the development of electronic music, including Pauline Oliveros, Laurie Spiegel, Eliane Radigue, Delia Derbyshire, Daphne Oram, Maryanne Amacher, Wendy Carlos and more. The dial becomes an emblem for recalibration, an indicator of the micro-perceptual act of sound-making and fine-tuned listening. Drawn in pencil on black paper, the drawings are framed within lenticular lenses to generate a diffractive pattern emanating from the dial.
The Wail That Was Warning (2018) is a sound sculpture in which five hand-cranked sirens are daisy-chained, each tuned to a different RPM to generate a spectrum of sounds that oscillates between a growl, a moan, a howl, a wail, a scream and a siren. The siren’s ambiguous temporality, warning of future dangers and mourning of tragedies past, is enmeshed with its non-human associations, recalling different affective qualities of animal or non-verbal communication. The sculpture gives rise to different possible readings of the siren, beyond a simple call to attention or a marker of civil (dis)obedience.
Preemptive Listening (part 1: The Fork in the Road) (2018) is a short film which serves as part 1 of a larger project reimagining emergency signals. For this first chapter of the project, Lebanese trumpet improviser Mazen Kerbaj has composed a new siren sound using circular breathing, alongside the actor and activist Khalid Abdalla’s account of the siren as the emblematic sound of resistance, oppression, and lost futures during the Arab Spring. Shot on 16mm, the film is literally driven by its soundtrack, as the voice becomes a beacon activating emergency rotating lights.
Aura Satz: Listen, Recalibrate will be on view from November 7 to December 14, 2018 at Fridman Gallery, with an Opening Reception on Wednesday, November 7 from 6-8pm. Fridman Gallery is located at 287 Spring Street, NYC.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog with essays by Christoph Cox, David Crowley, and Barbara London.
In addition, Aura Satz and Christopher Cox will be in conversation at The Kitchen on Saturday, November 3 at 7pm. The artist’s work is also featured on the High Line in Machines of Loving Grace through January 2, 2019.