Julien Grossmann: MATTER > MEDIUM < SOUND -From Music to Sound-Art

Mentor: John Heymans

independent reviewer: Jorinde Seijdel

Enschede, 2008


Surprisingly enough, it is while technology could, for the first time, let sound be separated from its natural cause and be freed from strictly acoustic processes, that the rapprochements with visual arts, in their contemporary forms, started to abound.
Not only the possibility of dissociating sound from space and time or to dissociate music from its performers, but also the increasing presence of the medium as a visual or sculptural element opened up the way to a vast new field of experimentation: the one of the installation of sound. Exactly as an art piece could be installed, sound could be diffused in places such as galleries, museums, or even outdoor spaces, and without limitation in time. This new field, englobing such a diversity of approaches that it is hard to outline, was finally coined Sound-Art at the beginning of the eighties. In this plurality, actually highlighting the complexity of the exposed dichotomy, we can trace a recurrent questioning on the triangular relationship between sound, medium and matter. As these three elements are both distinguishable and inextricable, it is the very nature of sound, in relation to the physical world, that is questioned. It is about sound and the material objects that are used to produce it, perform it, record it and diffuse it; about our perceptions and codifications of its multiple forms.