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This series aims to point out the existing dialogues between art and space, intended as architectonical or geographical.

The topic will be developed from three different perspectives: an historical approach through theories and past displays; a research paper in relation to spaces in London; and some reviews of current exhibitions characterised by a curatorial awareness of the space or by artists working with the concept of space as a material.


Lee Fraser is a British composer.

His compositional research explores psychoacoustics, architectonics and synthesised sound objects. He works exclusively with digital synthesis processes and the results affect the listener and shape space. This is the reason why I was curious to discover his performances.

And I did.

 

19 March 2016 _
London_
Bank Space Gallery_
During the exhibition Concrete Matters.

A bit of context:

The exhibition explored the mutually shaping processes of urban space and human identity. It grew from the idea of Psychogeography, theorised in the early 60s by Guy Debord, and developed into a specific condition of the space, which was recently sold, where the show was hosted.

The space was dark.
Black curtains and lights off.
The works of art exhibited were glimpsed in the dark, as were the concrete pillars and the industrial ceiling.

As soon as the performance started I felt I had to close my eyes.
To suddenly find myself in an obscure state of alertness.
Dry sounds.
Clean bumps.
Alternating between metal, glass and plastic.
Deformation.
Are the pillars still there?
Are they twisted?
Textures.
Corners.
Yes, the sound was shaping the corners.
If Gaston Bachelard in his book The Poetics of Space defines the corners as the place in which the sound of thoughts is king, Lee Fraser defines the corners as the place in which thoughts are guided by the sound.
Textures again.
Demolition.
The ceiling is caving in!

Rocks.

Piercing frequencies.
My ear suffers.
My ear pulses.
Otoacoustic emissions.
The sound increases.
Endless process.
A Shepard tone, apparently.
Silent.
Silent.
A movement.
Guttural sound.
And the control is lost.
I have to open my eyes.
It’s too much.
The building is collapsing!

End.

 

2 April 2016 _
Liege _
Les Brasseurs Cultural Centre_

The performance is the same.
The city is different.
The space is different.

This time the ceiling is made of coloured glass tiles.
It is twice as high, with a stair connected to a tiny walkway on the first floor.
It seems to be a sort of frame for the bottom part: an open space set up just for the performance.

And Lee Fraser starts.
Once Again.
Eyes closed.
Ready to be swallowed up in the helical swirl of the sound.
But this time it is different.
Surprisingly.
A new environment is created.
The sound is wet.
Reverberant.
Aquatic.
Are we under the water?
No objects this time, just intriguing forms darting around the space.
No corners.
We are in a sphere.
Then in soil.
Chaos.
Alarm.
Danger.
The order is disordered.
Sludge.
Pink somehow.
Fear.

Water again.
The walls lose their materiality.
Liquid surfaces.

I am curious.
I open my eyes.
Everything is untouched.
I’d rather observe the artist.
His fingers move rapidly.

Piercing frequencies.
My ear suffers.
My ear pulses.
Otoacoustic emissions.
The sound increases.
Endless process.
A Shepard tone, definitely.

Silent.
Silent.
A movement.
Guttural sound.
And the control is lost.

End.

 

Same performance. Different space. Very different perceptions.

Fraser’s sounds shape the space.
Yet the space shapes the perceptions.
The architecture’s materials absorb.
They reflect. They disperse.
The space responds.

It’s all about

Sound and Space.
Space and Sound.

Sound as a virtual space.
Space as a visual sound.


Lee Fraser is a British composer whose work blends aspects of acousmatic theory with the compositional methods of computer music. His live performances employ a range of digital synthesis processes and a structural rationale that are characteristic of his fixed pieces, a selection of which comprises the Dark Camber album, published by Entr’acte in 2014.

leefraser.co.uk


Caterina Avataneo (Turin, 1989) is an Italian architect and curator based in London. She is now attending the MA Curating Contemporary at London Met and Whitechapel Gallery.

Her past experiences include: Between Crinkles curated exhibition, Turin (IT); Norma Mangione Gallery, Turin (IT); Paratissima, Turin (IT); Hat Gallery, Valencia (ES); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (IT).

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