an exhibition curated by James Beckett
at General Public, Schönhauser Allee / 01.07. – 14.07. 08
Sirens traces the development of the device as an instrument of analysis into the role of auditory alert. As well as a historical account, the exhibition looks at artistic appropriation of the machine in acts which reveal much about the cultural, political and functional aspects of a living device.
In physics, the instrument was developed as a means to illustrate tones, later to develop into the more elaborate and much disputed combination tones, revealing a ‘Klangfarbe’ or timbre. Along with numerous other acoustic instruments, the Siren became a means by which to describe and measure the composite nature of sound, and to some extent demystify the complexity of acoustic phenomena.
The exhibition delineates the development and transformation of the siren, as an idea, an instrument and as a technological device. The artists Andre Avelas, Mark Bain, Ralph Borland, Alec Finlay and Chris Watson, Raviv Ganchrow and Max Neuhaus present their own interpretation of sirens and auditory alerts.
With contributions from SOS Workshop [a collaboration between Leiden University and the Veenfabriek director John Heymans, artistic director Paul Koek], The siren collection of Albert Baas, David Stall, Victory Siren Foundation Inc., and CPSM in cooperation with the Venetian Research Consortium and the University of Verona [represented by Avanzini, F.; Rocchesso, D.; Belussi, A.; Palu, A.D.; Dovier, A].
Alec Finlay and Chris Watson
Sirens was first presented 2007 at 66east gallery in Amsterdam.