dima
  • 🌊🔊🤷🏽 (comission for the 2019 Sharjah Biennial)

    As an artist, writer and DJ, Jace Clayton explores the interaction of sound, memory and public space. His SB14 work, 🌊🔊🤷🏽‍, furthers investigations raised by recent projects such as the software-as-art project Sufi Plug Ins. Featuring high-fidelity, quadraphonic, spatialised surround sound, 🌊🔊🤷🏽 examines the possibilities and challenges of presenting sound art in a visual art context, where museological modes of encounter freeze time but music melts it.¬† 🌊🔊🤷🏽‍ flows between these binaries. 🌊🔊🤷🏽‍ is an interactive, site-specific sound installation powered by several dozen modular synthesizers, many of them engraved with fragments of poetry written in English and Arabic. The installation centres around a vitrine that holds around 50 electronic synthesizer modules and interconnected multicolor cables. These components create a dynamic composition that Clayton designed to continuously generate new cycles of sound variations. The resulting composition references melodic modes of music from the entire Arabian Gulf region as well as the urban and seaside rhythms of Sharjah itself. Sprawled in a nonlinear fashion, the engraved poetry on the synthesizer modules invites visitors to approach the physical installation in an open-ended way. Three mar√≠mbulas (Afro-Cuban bass thumb pianos) surround the vitrine and can be played by visitors. Although these instruments are unamplified, when plucked, they emit voltage that transforms the electronic composition and circulates around the quadrophonic sound field. Running on a network of intermodulating analog clocks with a master tempo, 🌊🔊🤷🏽‍ seeks to engage with social polyrhythms, where visitors affect overall pacing of the composition as they move throughout the space. The emoji title, linking the work to a pidgin digital cosmopolitanism, can be widely understood, yet it cannot be articulated in any specific language.