Bjorn Askefoss - Álces
  Year :   2005
  Location :   Norway
  Worktype :   Sound-installation in a public space.
  Materials:   -
  Info :   Landmark, Bergen Kunsthall

  Work Details  
  The interactive installation Álces is performed in Landmark, Bergen Kunsthall in the period 7th – 14th December 2005. Characteristic for this site-specific installation is that the space of the performance and the created work of art are integrated into a situation orientated piece where Landmark´s café culture mixes with an arranged urban environment in the form of a sonografic portrait of Paris´ public space. This democratic installation is based upon a number of sound- and image-recordings from a number of Movements, or acoustic spaces chosen by aleatoric methods. This has been done by applying a stone carving to a Michelin city and to determine points in the carvings crossing lines. The term democratic, as used in this context has, among others, the consequence that all sounds have the same status. A consequence of this is that all sources of sound can be defined as musical instruments. Álces is thereby (fragments of) a number of concerts originated from urban acoustic environment performed in Landmark. Significant for this conceptual installation is the thesis that any source of sound is realized in a concrete composition based on complex activities in the city environment and that Álces thereby implies an investigating attitude towards artistic practice. By the use of technology developed at Ircam, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the interactive space records movements of the people and these recordings are incorporated in the aleatoric composition. This implies a slight adjustment in relation to a conventional approach to composition and artistic manifestation. As a consequence, this implies a democratic process. Another effect of such an installation is that the space to a certain extent becomes a part of the piece, and that the idea of a spatial based instrument evolves as a consequence of this. The relationship between the private and the public is thereby one of the essential features in the installation. Aesthetically Álces relates to parts of the experimental music, and the American experimental music in particular, that was involved in interpenetration of environment sounds. Especially John Cage´s 4´33´´ that was performed first time in Maverick Theatre in Woodstock (1952) has been influential. Cage´s performance at Henie Onstad Art Centre outside Oslo during his visit to Norway in the 1980´s should be mentioned. However, while 4´33´´ is a piece Cage attributed to Rauchenberg´s ”The white paintings”(Tiravanija, ICA, 2004), one is in Álces also concerned with timbre. The kinship to dada comes to its strongest expression through the wide use of sounds from the social and cultural context, ready-mades, that are used in a musical and artistic context, but also in the choice of the title of the piece. One can say that in this meaning Álces can best be described as Antimusic, or composed in the absence of traditional approach to composition. This relationship is turned upside down as the artist declares silence to be music, namely democratic music. The result is that Álces arise as a cross point between a form of concrete poetry and urban impressions. Accessed 05.01.2008 from