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December 15, 2005

Center for Art and Visual Culture presents "What Sound Does a Color Make?"

February 2 - March 18, 2006

Media contact:
Tom Moore

Note: You may download this release as a pdf file (1.2 Mb).

Scott Arford
Static Room, 2003
Two-channel video installation with sound (excerpt above)
Dimensions variable
Courtesy the artist

Static Room is an abstract audiovisual composition of manipulated static that spatially surrounds the viewer both sonically and visually. The audio track was generated directly by the flickering, strobing image itself—the image and the sound having been created from the same signal, the same set of data. In the words of the artist, “Experiencing it is learning how to see with your ears wide open.”

D-Fuse: D-TonateOpening on February 2nd and continuing though March 16th, UMBC’s Center for Art and Visual Culture (CAVC) presents What Sound Does a Color Make?, a traveling exhibition organized and circulated by Independent Curators International (iCI) that explores the fusion of vision and sound in electronic media. What Sound Does a Color Make? connects the recent boom of digital audiovisual art to its pre-digital roots, presenting ten contemporary works by an internationally diverse group of artists. The exhibition will include a selection of single-channel videos from the 1970s and feature several sensuous new media environments that fascinate both technophiles and general audiences alike, heightening awareness of human perception and cognition.

For some people, a stimulus to one of the five senses evokes the sensation of another sense, as when hearing a sound produces the visualization of a color. For contemporary audiovisual artists, the possibilities inspired by this phenomenon, known as synesthesia, have expanded with the advent of recent digital technologies that translate all electronic media, whether sounds or moving images, into the zeros and ones of computer bits.

United by similar and overlapping premises, the works in the exhibition are widely divergent in their results. They range from large-scale immersive installations with moving forms that morph to corresponding tonal compositions, to discrete DVD stations inviting viewers to access electronic music pieces in different combinations with videos. One of the recent works, Self-Portrait of Paul (DeMarinis) by Jim Campbell, is a portrait of a colleague who uses sound in his own art. In Campbell’s work, an LED grid is activated by playing a recording of that man’s voice, and the gridded lights resemble pixels that gradually build up an image of the man, with his voice’s high tones representing white and the low tones representing black. Another contemporary work is an interactive installation by D-Fuse, a London-based collective of artists and musicians, which layers different music soundtracks onto dynamic video clips, creating a distinctive audiovisual experience. The earlier works from the 1970s, by such pioneers of video art as Nam June Paik, Steina Vasulka, and Gary Hill, place the current interest in synesthetic media art in a broader historical context, offering a unique perspective on this phenomenon. The exhibition will encourage a high degree of individual engagement and self-reflection, as well as further thought about the ways that visual and aural stimuli are electronically, digitally and perceptually connected.

Nam June Paik and Jud Yalkut: Beatles ElectroniquesWhat Sound Does a Color Make? is a traveling exhibition organized and circulated by Independent Curators International (iCI), New York and curated by Kathleen Forde. The exhibition and tour are made possible, in part, by grants from The David Bermant Foundation: Color, Light, Motion; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; and Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e.V., Stuttgart; and by an in-kind donation from Philips Electronics North America.

On Thursday, February 2nd from 5 to 7 pm, the CAVC will host an opening reception for What Sound Does a Color Make?.

On Thursday, February 2nd at 5 pm, Kathleen Forde, curator of the exhibition, will lead a gallery tour. Forde is curator at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. She also curates and writes on a freelance basis, most recently for the Rotterdam Film Festival, VideoZone Tel Aviv, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Duesseldorf and Cologne Kunstverein, and the Transmediale Festival in Berlin, Germany.

On Thursday, March 16th at 7 pm, the CAVC hosts a lecture by sound a media artist Stephen Vitiello, location to be announced. In his work, Vitiello is particularly interested in the physical aspect of sound and its potential to define the form and atmosphere of a spatial environment. Recent solo exhibitions include The Project, New York; Galerie Almine Rech, Paris; The Project, Los Angeles. Group exhibitions include the 2002 Whitney Biennial; Ce qui arrive at the Cartier Foundation, Paris, curated by Paul Virilio, Yanomami: Spirit of the Forest, also at the Cartier Foundation. Previous exhibitions include Greater New York at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center presented in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art, and a solo exhibition at the Texas Gallery, Houston. In 1999, Stephen Vitiello was awarded a six month WorldViews residency on the 91st floor of the World Trade Center. The residency resulted in a site-specific sound installation which has been broadcast and exhibited internationally.

Participating Artists
Scott Arford
Jim Campbell
Granular-Synthesis (Kurt Hentschläger & Ulf Langheinrich)
Gary Hill
Thom Kubli
Nam June Paik and Jud Yalkut
Robin Rimbaud (a.k.a. Scanner) in collaboration with D-Fuse
Fred Szymanski
Atau Tanaka
Steina and Woody Vasulka
Stephen Vitiello

About the Center for Art and Visual Culture
The Center for Art and Visual Culture is a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of contemporary art and visual culture, critical theory, art and cultural history, and the relationship between society and the arts. The CAVC serves as a forum for students, faculty, and the general public for the discussion of important aesthetic and social issues of the day. Disciplines represented include painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography, digital art, video, film, television, design, architecture, advertising, and installation and performance art.

Atau Tanaka: BondageSince 1989, the CAVC has incorporated a number of public programs into its exhibition programming schedule to further impact the communities it serves. Symposia, lecture series, conferences, film series, visiting artist series, and residencies have all been fundamental in an effort to create an ongoing dialogue about contemporary art and culture. The Center has also initiated a number of projects with Baltimore and surrounding schools systems to integrate the contemporary artist and their concerns into the classroom. These projects take place on-site at both middle schools and high schools and are team taught by the instructors at these schools, professional artists, and students from the CAVC’s Internship Program. The Center produces one to two exhibition catalogues each year. Each document is fully illustrated and contains critical essays on the given subject by a variety of distinguished professionals in the field. Recent publications include Postmodernism: A Virtual Discussion and Paul Rand: Modernist Design. These books and catalogues are published and are distributed internationally through Distributed Art Publishers.

Since 1992, the Center for Art and Visual Culture has actively pursued the organization of exhibitions that contain the aesthetic, theoretical, and educational potential to reach both a national and international audience. Over the years, the CAVC has traveled these exhibition projects to a broad spectrum of museums, professional non-profit galleries, and universities national and internationally. Recent traveling exhibitions include:

Blur of the Otherworldly (2005)
White: Whiteness and Race in Contemporary Art (2003)
Fred Wilson: Objects and Installations (2001)
Adrian Piper: A Retrospective (1999)
Bruno Monguzzi: A Designer’s Perspective (1998)
Minimal Politics (1997)
Kate Millet, Sculpture: The First 38 Years (1997)

Beyond the scope of these traveling exhibitions, the Center for Art and Visual Culture also undertakes an exhibition schedule that includes a Faculty Biennial, and projects such as the Joseph Beuys Tree Partnership. As part of the educational mission of the CAVC, one graduate thesis exhibition and one undergraduate senior exhibition are scheduled on a yearly basis.

This multi-faceted focus for presenting exhibitions, projects and scholarly research publications focused on contemporary art and cultural issues positions the Center for Art and Visual Culture in a unique position within the mid-Atlantic region.

Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner) in collaboration with D-Fuse: Light Turned DownHours and Admission
Tuesday through Saturday 10 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Admission is free.

UMBC Artsline (24 hour recorded message): 410-455-ARTS
Center for Art and Visual Culture: 410-455-3188
Media inquiries: 410-455-3370

UMBC Arts website:
What Sound Does a Color Make? website:
Center for Art and Visual Culture:

• From Baltimore and points north, proceed south on I-95 to exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Fine Arts Building.
• From I-695, take Exit 12C (Wilkens Avenue) and continue one-half mile to the entrance of UMBC at the roundabout intersection of Wilkens Avenue and Hilltop Road. Turn left and follow signs to the Fine Arts Building.
• From Washington and points south, proceed north on I-95 to Exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Fine Arts Building.
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Images for Media
High resolution images for media are available online: or by email or postal mail.
Images in this release:
D-Fuse, D-Tonate, 2003
Nam June Paik and Jud Yalkut, Beatles Electroniques, 1966-69, courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York
Atau Tanaka, Bondage, 2004
Robin Rimbaud (a.k.a Scanner) in collaboration with D-Fuse, Light Turned Down, 2001
Granular-Synthesis, Lux, 2003

Granular-Synthesis: Lux

Posted by tmoore at December 15, 2005 9:38 PM