Edita Dermontaité (IN)VISIBLE TRACES: THE ACT OF LISTENING IN VISUAL ARTS
- Onderzoekseenheid: Image
- Onderzoeksgroep: Art & Argument
". . . to listen is to be straining toward a possible meaning . . ." (1)
The act of marking sounds and melodies dates back as early as drawings on stone tablets, namely, the Hymn to Nikkal from around 2000 BC at the city of Nippur (in today's Iraq). Since then a variety of music scores manifested themselves in different times and different parts of the world including Tibet, Byzantine Empire, Ancient Greece, Japan and India. There are three more dates that have a great significance for this Doctoral study and are separated from the drawings on stone by four millennia. In 1912 an English painter and critic Roger Fry introduced the term visual music to describe the paintings of Wassily Kandinsky. Music and sounds entered modern visual art and became an inspiration for many abstractionists; such as paintings by Mark Rothko, Paul Klee, Ivan Kliun, video works by Arseny Avraamov, Oskar Fischinger, Peter Kubelka and Hans Richter. In the 1950s music scores broke through the conventional realm and became graphic. They started to represent experimental music using illustrations, including works of John Cage and Boguslaw Schaeffer. In the 1980s a Canadian composer and audio artist Dan Lander coined the term sound art (2) to name a new artistic discipline. Now in contemporary art music and sounds are widely used in film, video, architecture, sculpture, installation, for instance in works by Max Neuhaus, Zimoun, Peter Vogel, Bruce Nauman, Lukas Kühne, Baschet Brothers and many more.
However, after all the overlaps in history, contemporary art practices still hold a noticeable separation between sound and visual art. In my research and art practice I am working in-and-through visual sound art, because I am very much interested in moments in time and space where visual and sound art overlap.
In (In)Visible Traces I examine a small area between these two disciplines and focus on the act of listening within visual arts, particularly on listening to soundscapes of daily life and exploring how this conscious act can be embodied in such forms as drawing, printmaking and installation.
"Sounds are in movement, like wind or breeze, like something inchoate, but aural . . . When I am trying to grasp them, they threaten to evaporate, to leak . . . I can hold them only for a short moment when I draw . . . Drawing is searching for meaning"
(From my personal diary, summer of 2017)
As a visual artist I was always in search for balance between research and practice, thinking and creating, visible and invisible, listening and drawing, searching and finding, insignificance and meaning. I am constantly sieving my surroundings, myself and my own work as a membrane, both inside and outside my artistic practice. In this context, I focus not only on making the act of listening visible, but, most importantly, on using the evaporating nature of soundscapes as a tool to explore the meaning itself, the meaning of listening and drawing in time and space; I seek to use this act as an input for both theoretical discourses and visual experimentations. What is the act of listening? What is the act of drawing? What is their entanglement? How can the act of listening be collected in a visual form? What kind of visual forms can it inhabit? How to trace the invisible? How to trace time? How to trace space? This research will be carried out both on the basis of existing works made by sound/visual artists and my own theoretical and practice based work within the framework of this study.
- Promotor: Professor Dr. Barbara Baert
- Copromotor: Dr. Esther Venrooij
- Looptijd: 2016-20
- E-mailadres: firstname.lastname@example.org