1 on 1 with +Aziz

Lori Zimmer
Jun 17, 2013 7:53PM


Since posting about UNCOLLECTABLE, friends have been asking me about sound art- causing a few awesome discussions to ensue about art, the tangible and tactile, and how sound can be art. Many of my friends only knew about Max Neuhaus’ Times Square or Louise Lawler‘s Bird Calls (both prob from me telling them). I decided to ask curator and sound artist +Aziz a few questions that were on my mind.

1. Do you think sound art is under represented in the art world?

Honestly, I don’t think it’s under-represented at all and I also am not convinced that it is entirely driven by the ‘art world’. Seems like the music and tech industries go hand-in-hand along its evolution.

Sound art is typically accompanied by performance, video, installations…etc. In other words, sound art is simply art with a sound component. Sharjah Biennial featured at least 3 ‘sound artists’, The Tate Modern has launched a two-year research initiative titled Collecting the Performative that brings together Dutch and British scholars and museum professionals to “draw upon the practices of dance, theatre and activism in order to identify parallels in the concept of a work and related notions of authorship, authenticity, autonomy, documentation, memory, continuity and liveness” (According to the Tate Modern’s website). Additionally, many composers have crossed into the territory on a technical level.

2. How did you choose the artists who are participating in UNCOLLECTABLE?

Bradley Pitts’ Singular Oscillations, an artist that can be framed to be looking at the limits of documentation or ‘collecting emptiness’. Mr.Pitts is presenting A Certificate of Ownership, with an opportunity to share his Singular Oscillations with an invitation for one to experience the variable gravity space contained within the Russian Parabolic-flight Aircraft. The certificate of ownership challenges the way of collecting an artwork by financing and experiencing the artist work with him, floating in variable-gravity space of Russian parabolic flight aircraft, with eyes closed, ears blocked and naked during a 10 minutes parabola flight. I learned about his work through Frederique Thiollet, founder of Hotel Particulier.

In the physical gallery as well will be a work titled Singular OscillationsSpirit Level: a sound sculpture, replica of variable-gravity spirit level on board Russian parabolic flight aircraft, playing the engine noise and measuring the different weightlessness levels from 2008 Singular Oscillations flight. He will also be displaying Weightless Cross-Sections, a glass sculpture that references micro-gravity interiors on and off Earth, such as the International Space Station and the parabolic-flight aircraft from Russia, France, and the USA

3. How has working on UNCOLLECTABLE (as in an exhibition/event rather than being just a music/sound maker) changed your outlook as an artist?

Beyond my music I think it reconfigured the relationship of my full-time job to my craft. Trend spotting is a young person’s game and I fear I will eventually outgrow it. Unraveling its potential while I’m still working ‘in it’ helps me realize how to better link my identity as a songwriter and trend spotter. The project reveals that I am more interested in the reconciliation of the forms of my labor than the whole East meets West identity dichotomy.

Trend spotting should not be as limited to brands and their strategic planning; trends can and should be applied to other endeavors. I would not have realized this if it weren’t for the string of incidents that carried me from landing a job at FATHOM+HATCH, to evolving my trends through NUQAT’s conferences in Dubai and Kuwait, to guest editing with ArteEast, and then teaming up with Hotel Particulier for the show. It was a series of unexpected and yet perfectly aligned events that have evolved my perspective on my own labor and work. The whole thing is very dis-alienating.

Lori Zimmer