Making a Noise About the School of Art 2: Sculpture Musicale


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On 28 October 2014, fine art and art history students on ‘Art/Sound’ (an art history module run by the School of Art, Aberystwyth University) collectively endeavoured to realise Marcel Duchamp’s (1887-1968) Sculpture Musicale (1913). His only instructions/descriptions were: ‘Sounds lasting and leaving from different places and forming a sounding sculpture that lasts’. Accordingly, eight amplifiers and oscillator devices were situated in different parts of the School and turned on simultaneously and very loudly for over half an hour. Students were able to adjust the sound parameters of the devices — and so change the character of the soundscape throughout the proceedings — and to experience the ‘invisible architecture’ of sound superimposed upon the physical architecture and acoustic properties of the building’s interior. Furthermore, the project gave art history students a rare opportunity to not only ‘observe’ but also to reconstruct an artwork.

Personnel: students of ‘Art/Sound’ and John Harvey.

Instrumentation: Electro Harmonix Flanger Hoax; Korg Kaos Pad KP3, Kaossilator, and Monotribe Synth; Laney LV100 (x2); Line 6 Amplifi 75; Peavey W100; amp; QSC K10 amp (x2); Skychord Utopia Synth, Sleepdrone 5, Sleepdrone 6, and Glamour Box, and Yamaha THR10 amp (x2).

Context: Workshop 2, ‘Art/Sound’ module, School of Art, Aberystwyth University, UK, 28 October 2014.

Source: Captured on a Tascam DR-2d PCM Recorder.

A token recording of Sculpture Musicale can be heard by clicking on the title.

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