Volume Dissolves Into Atmosphere
Tonya Wechsler, one of the curators of Volume Dissolves Into Atmosphere, shares her experience in working on the project, which students created in response to the idea of experimental museum.
Volume Dissolves Into Atmosphere is a conceptual sonic art exhibition curated and realised by a group of MA Culture, Criticism and Curation students from the 2015 cohort as their final project. The show took place in the David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF). It was supported by the discussion on curating sound with leading practitioners of the field, also programmed and led by the students.
Receiving a brief as broad as this was great as it meant a lot of freedom – we could do almost whatever we wanted to in the amazing space. At the same time we faced a challenge – what does it actually mean and how can one be experimental in the gallery space today?
From the first meetings we realised that the common interest that we shared was sound. Through a lot of discussion (we were a group of eight people with various backgrounds) we came out with a concept of the show. It was based around the idea of visibility and invisibility within the gallery environment and the architecture of the actual space.
DRAF is a two-floor building with galleries upstairs and downstairs. We were given an upstairs space to work with; the downstairs space hosted a visual art exhibition at the time. So we decided to see what happens if we connect the two spaces through sound.
We asked several artists to submit their ideas in response to our concept and ended up working with Andrew Sunderland. His proposal gave our concept an extra dimension. Andrew interpreted the history of DRAF building as it reminded him of the kind of place where illegal raves could be held in the 1990s.
Instead of a conventional exhibition catalogue we created an audio version on SoundCloud. We see it as a kind of archive of our project. It documents its different elements as well as the creation process. You can listen to a recording of the public discussion that we held as part of the project alongside the sound piece compiled of some of our internal meetings.
For more information on the project visit the Volume Dissolves Into Atmosphere website.