Come Hither Noise at Fremantle Art Centre in Perth, Australia is an exhibition of sound-based works, which aims to highlight connections between aural, spatial and visual perception. Curator Jasmin Stephens argues that media and even sensory distinctions are growing increasingly arbitrary in contemporary art. In this exhibition she presents a selection of works which are both noisy and resolutely visual, designed to heighten the audience’s experience of both senses. Come Hither Noise features visual artists working alongside composers, producing aural environments which encroach on the musical, but this is not easy listening.
Composer Thomas Meadowcroft‘s Monaro Eden references two icons of Australian culture: the Holden Monaro, an engine-heavy muscle car that subjugated the roadways from 1969 to 1982, and twentieth century artist Rosalie Gascoigne, specifically her 1989 work Monaro. Meadowcroft’s installation alludes to Gascoigne’s process of assemblage by sampling the revving engine of a Monaro and layering it with Sine tones, producing a humming aural landscape which the audience can navigate, when seated, by pressing foot pedals which alter the volume of the tones. The artist likens this process to “a Sunday drive” there is no great logic to it: some key musical destinations are dictated by the arrangement of the engine sounds but otherwise listeners are free to hear their own ways through the installation.
Richard Crow’s Imaginary Hospital Radio plays upon the ostensibly therapeutic role of the hospital radio station by injecting bloodless muzak with a form of medical waste the incidental soundscape of the body subjected to surgical technology. The accompanying image is from the archives of the Moorfields Eye Hospital where Crow was treated as a child. Imaginary Hospital Radio was broadcast on ABC Classic FM’s New Music Up Late on Saturday 29 August.
Come Hither Noise is presented as part of the 9th Totally Huge New Music Festival in association with Tura New Music, 10-20 September 2009.