Artscope Magazine Logo

Hearing is Believing: Dartmouth’s Resonant Spaces Sing

Christine Sun Kim, The Grid of Prefixed Acousmatics, 2017; photograph by Alison Palizzolo.






By Marguerite Serkin

As a genre, sound art is still very young, even nascent in its evolution. The wide parameters defining the genre allow for breadth of interpreta- tion and representation within such a divergent range of media and thematic content to be at once idiosyncratic and profound.

Curated by Spencer Topel, assistant professor of music in the Digital Musics Program at Dartmouth. and Amelia Kahl, associate curator of academic programming, “Resonant Spaces: Sound Art at Dartmouth” brings its visual and auditory subjects to life in unexpected ways. The exhibition is not limited to a single location, but is rather placed across seven venues on and around the Dartmouth College campus. The Hood Downtown Gallery, on Main Street in Hanover, offers a practical and energizing starting point to the seven-site unguided tour.

Terry Adkins’ video installation, “Synapse (from Black Beethoven),” 2004, transmutes an image of the composer, as he may have appeared in his later years, to the image of a black Beethoven, still recogniz- able but with features altered and regressed to a younger age. Framed as a portrait, the work is gripping in its seamless, fluid transformation from the composer’s likeness, and back again.

Adkins’ imposing sculpted piece, “Aviarium (Grasshopper Sparrow),” 2014, features combined metals in a visual reproduction of the wavelength of the sparrow’s song. Completed in the final year of the artist’s life, “Aviarium” embodies the cross-relational nature of visual expression and sound. Adkins’ “Tambour, from Nenuphar,” 2013, creates a disconcerting presence in the room. Composed of a music stand draped in lace, with a tambourine placed atop its eerie form, the piece invokes the figure of a ghostly bride.

 To read more, pick up a copy of our latest issue! Find a pick-up location near you or Subscribe Here.