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Aural Ecstasies: Sound Art Trends in Bushwick

A day trip to Dia:Beacon one early autumn afternoon unearthed from my art historical vault 1960s era Minimalism that conceptually critiqued the commodified art world

A day trip to Dia:Beacon one early autumn afternoon unearthed from my art historical vault 1960s era Minimalism that conceptually critiqued the commodified art world. However, it was not the gargantuan "Torqued Ellipses" by Richard Serra that stuck it to the man—his work is sold by world-renowned powerhouse Gagosian Gallery—but the cackling faux-bird audio "Birdcalls"  (1972/1981) by pioneer sound artist Louise Lawler resonating throughout the cherry blossom west garden that really put the art market in a quandary. Trending this month in Bushwick artists continue to investigate the ear over the eye. As we move into spring, stop, collaborate and listen as Sound Art takes center stage transforming the Bushwick art landscape into an aural adventure.

Tim Bruniges: Mirrors @ Signal

Sound emerges from a triad of performers navigating an immense interior flanked by two large concave cement sculptures in Tim Bruniges's Mirrors. Three performers on the saxophone, bass and trumpet play atonal notes as they glide throughout the stage. A microphone in the center of each sound mirror picks up the ambient sounds in the gallery and feed them into infinite loops. Signal's vast exhibition space resonates with sound art. Its minimalist warehouse rotunda reverberates similarly to an echo in a wind tunnel. As if exerting a bellowing cry from one end of an expansive—yet enclosed—space, noise gently echoes until silence once again overcomes.

Like the rippling waves of a skipping rock, sound repeats itself as it bounces between Bruniges's monolithic Mirrors. Melody is overcome by dissonance as sweet sounds of disparate notes coalesce into a score far from the conventional forms of harmony. Viewers are encouraged to tap into their inner wanderlust and circumnavigate the performance space to hear the tonal variations between locations.

Tim Bruniges: Mirrors was on view at Signal Gallery from January 24 - March 9 (The gallery's upcoming exhibition, Hayden Dunham and Meriem Bennani: Paste, opens on April 4th).

Off the Wall @ Parallel Art Space

Sound and Visual Art coincide as artist Gilbert Hsiao's Hit Parade repurposes the antiquated—yet much loved—record player in a participatory spectacle for the ears and eyes. Hsiao creates a day-glo atmosphere boasting a mellowed 1980s VIP scene inviting viewers to be the DJs by adding or subtracting disks to switch up nuanced beats.

Amidst black lights in a darkened room, neon painted record players spin ambient sounds from multicolored disks. Sounds created are quiet murmurs, scratches and hiccups reminiscent of a record's end when the needle circles the last grooves before the player kicks it back to its holding pin. Viewers become conductors to create a new-age symphony of electronic notes.

Off the Wall is on view at Parallel Art Space through March 23 (Saturday and Sunday 1-6PM and by appointment).

Elisa Lendvay and Adrian Ting: Alone Together @ Orgy Park

Sound accompanied Lendvay and Ting's pairing of minimalist painting and mixed media sculptures as saxophonist Zuriel Waters serenaded gallery-goers with an original score inspired by the show on Bushwick Beat Nite.  The visual and aural coincided as Waters belted smooth melodies from a corner in the basement gallery space. His harmonic notes echoed through the white walls and accentuated the theme of the show inspired by an artist's intimate bond with creation while working alone in the studio.

Alone Together is on view at Orgy: Park through March 23 (open by appointment only).

Paul Weston: Conduit @ GCA

An ordinary day: You wake up to missed text messages, at breakfast you answer emails, at lunchtime you catch up on Twitter and before you go to bed you update your Facebook status while watching Scandal. Phones, computers, televisions—these are the 21st century limbs we cannot live without. Paul Weston's exhibition Conduit at GCA Gallery explores the omnipresence of technology in our lives. The star gadget in Weston's current work is the television which he uses to reflect on how media never really leaves us. Television is that reliable friend that is always there for you—whether you need to catch up on your shows, kill time, or you just like the background noise, thinking about life without television gets very quiet. Conduit shows that even without a TV right in front of us, we still live in its perpetual afterglow because the screen never really turns off.

If the 2013 exhibition "Soundings: A Contemporary Score" at the high-brow Museum of Modern Art is not an indicator of Sound Art's rank, then perusing the galleries of Bushwick will further ensue its rising placement in the canon of contemporary art. Notes emerging from itinerant instruments, noise emitting from music players, or original scores accompanying visual art are the many variations of Sound Art vibrating through the walls of Bushwick galleries. Whether accompanying film, video, installations, and sculptures, or existing on its own in an instrumental performance, Sound Art resonates this early Spring—and its not looking to be muted any time soon.

Paul Weston: Conduit is on view at GCA March 21 - April 20, 2014 (Sundays 12-6pm and by appointment)

Can't make the shows? No worries, because Bushwick Daily always keeps you up to speed on the latest gallery openings happening every week!

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