Aura Satz’s works frequently inhabit the space between voices. Sound signals and practices of listening are featured as ways of harnessing attention, attuning to the uncertain, recalibrating learned listening habits, and channeling multiple voices as both method and subject matter. For her second show at Fridman Gallery she is showing a series of drawings, sound works and a new 16mm film.
Dial Tone Drone (2014) is a sound piece for telephone, originally commissioned to play from the original 1924 red telephone kiosk. Featuring conversations with electronic music pioneers and composers Laurie Spiegel and Pauline Oliveros, as well as excerpts of their drone compositions, the piece unfolds the concept of the sustained note or drone in relation to the dial tone, and associated discussions on telephony, telecommunications, electrical circuits, connecting voices, tuning in, and listening to sustained notes.
She Recalibrates (2018) are a series of drawings of hands of women who contributed to the development of electronic music, including Pauline Oliveros, Laurie Spiegel, Eliane Radigue, Delia Derbyshire, Daphne Oram, Maryanne Amacher, Wendy Carlos and more. The dial becomes an emblem for recalibration, an indicator of the micro-perceptual act of sound-making and fine-tuned listening. Drawn in pencil on black paper, the drawings are framed within lenticular lenses to generate a diffractive pattern emanating from the dial.
The Wail That Was Warning (2018) is a sound sculpture in which five hand-cranked sirens are daisy-chained, each tuned to a different RPM to generate a spectrum of sounds that oscillates between a growl, a moan, a howl, a wail, a scream and a siren. The siren's ambiguous temporality, warning of future dangers and mourning of tragedies past, is enmeshed with its non-human associations, recalling different affective qualities of animal or non-verbal communication. The sculpture gives rise to different possible readings of the siren, beyond a simple call to attention or a marker of civil obedience and disobedience.
Preemptive Listening (part 1: The Fork in the Road) (2018) is a short 16mm film which serves as part 1 of a larger research project on sonic obedience and disobedience through the trope of the siren. Using a compositional approach to sirens and emergency signals, several musicians, writers, philosophers and neuroscientists have been invited to re-imagine the siren sound. For this first chapter of the project, Lebanese trumpet improviser Mazen Kerbaj has composed a new siren sound using circular breathing, alongside the actor and activist Khalid Abdalla's account of the siren as the emblematic sound of resistance, oppression, and lost futures during the Arab Spring. Shot on 16mm, the film is literally driven by its soundtrack, as the voice becomes a beacon activating emergency rotating lights.
Aura Satz (b.1974) was born in Barcelona and is currently based in London. Satz's work has been performed, exhibited and screened internationally. This includes events and exhibitions at the 20th Biennale of Sidney, Tate Modern, Hayward Gallery, Barbican Art Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery; the Rotterdam Film Festival; the New York Film Festival; De Appel Art Centre; and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. She is currently included in ‘Machines of Loving Grace’ on the High Line Art.