• Neon1

    Sam Griffin: Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Map

Art

Sam Griffin: The Olduvai Cliff

Posted by Rob Alderson,

We get some unusual invites here at It’s Nice That but a sound installation aimed at tackling the January blues, based on apocalyptic visions and neolithic communal experiences? You’ve charmed me. We spoke to artist Sam Griffin about his work, in an interview in which he used the phrase “archeo-acoustics” more than once. We were intrigued…

The Olduvai Cliff was set up at The Architecture Foundation on Monday night (statistically the most depressing day of the year apparently) and consisted of a specially-designed soundscape pitched at 111Hz. Sam and his collaborators Guy Wood and Jo Wills measured out the space to create what he calls “nodes and anti-nodes” around the room, so the experience is different wherever you are in the gallery.

Predominantly a visual artist, Sam has a longstanding fascination with the interplay between acoustics and physical spaces.

“I am interested in buildings as vessels for experience and the way different types of buildings are designed to facilitate communal, transcendental experiences, whether it’s a church, a night club or a concert hall.”

The idea for this piece – which was previously shown in Paris and in a central London gallery – came about after he was introduced to the research of Paul Devereux, who is at the forefront “of this nascent field of academia called archeo-acoustics.”

Devereux visited neolithic burial grounds with an oscillator and a speaker system and found this particular frequency – 111Hz – had a similarly significant effect on sites which were hundreds of miles apart.

“They all seemed to resonate at this same frequency which would be an incredible coincidence. These places could have been used for some communal chanting, with the correct frequency activating the whole place, making it shake.

“ I was interested in whether you could do that in an exhibition space.”

The sound is built on three levels, corresponding to the height, length and width of the room although in a previous incarnation in a much smaller room the overall effect was so oppressive visitors found they couldn’t bear to spend more than a few minutes inside it.

“It’s really a sort of theatre,” says Sam, manipulating sound to create an invisible structure.

With these kind of big ideas, it will be great to see what else Sam has up his sleeve.

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

  1. List

    Swedish creative Henrik Franklin is a designer, illustrator and animator with two of the world’s leading design schools (Konstfack in Sweden and Rhode Island School of Design) sparkling on his CV. Invited to showcase his considerable talents in Anna Lidberg’s Gallery 1:10 – “the miniature gallery for contemporary art” – Henrik produced a table of tiny tomes and the attention-to-detail on each cover design is really impressive.

  2. Main

    Victoria Siddall has worked at Frieze for just over a decade and two years ago was made Director of Frieze Masters. Excitingly, just a few weeks ago she was appointed Director of Frieze Masters, Frieze New York and Frieze London. As well as being one of the most powerful women in the art world, Victoria is also my sister, so I was curious to find out how she’s feeling on the dawn of her new career.

  3. List

    The Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern has an incredible presence when it’s void of installations, which is what’s so wonderful about the huge enclosed space. As much as I admire the vast emptiness though, it’s even more exciting when a piece of work is placed in the hall and interrupts the vacuum. Opening today, American sculptor Richard Tuttle is the latest commissioned artist to show his work in the space and his 24ft sculpture certainly makes an impact.

  4. Main2

    I came across the work of Matthias Geisler over on Booooooom the other day and was reminded that we hadn’t posted something like this in a while. Matthias’ work is a swirling blend of spirits and creatures that are created with meticulous use of pencil crayons and water-colours. Is it me or are watercolours real in at the moment? All the cool kids seem to be using them.

  5. 8

    A kind of magic happens when Seth Armstrong puts brush to canvas. Having only been familiar with his work for the Mr Porter Journal, I became instantly bewitched by his paintings when clicking through his website.

  6. List

    Whatever the some naysayers may claim there is an art to collage and not everyone can do it, despite how good you think your teenage collages of cut-out red lips, Leonardo DiCaprio and puppies were. Anthony Zinonos is the perfect example of this, having featured on the site previously he’s updated his portfolio with some really cool bits and bobs.

  7. List

    There’s something very fun and raw about Jessica Hans’ vases and her approach to ceramics in general. Based in Philadelphia, she’s had a longstanding interest in foraging and raw materials since university; this has carried over into her ceramics work, which in the past has seen her driving to clay sites, digging her materials out of the ground and then firing them in their original state to see what would happen.

  8. Listt

    “To be an artist and for anyone to care vaguely about what you do is a great thing,” says street artist Moose in this fascinating new Nissan campaign, but his work is more important than most. As the inventor of reverse graffiti – whereby he uses a high-powered pressure washer to stencil imagery in the dirt that accumulates in our cities – Moose’s work asks questions about our attitudes to pollution in a very creative way.

  9. List

    To stare into a Danny Fox painting is like waking up in a world written by Charles Bukowski on a particularly heavy bender. There’s sex and drinking and guns, plus boxers and strippers and cowboys; here a horse, there a tiger. It’s intense and unnerving and exciting, but although there’s something very contemporary about Danny’s paintings, his rise to prominence owes a great deal to the support of a more well-established artist (an age-old route for up-and-coming artistic stars).

  10. Listjmp_cg_house_float_10

    Heads are turning in Covent Garden this morning, and they’re not just looking at the usual street performers – they’re gawping at a levitating building. Master of illusions Alex Chinneck’s latest mind-boggling public art installation is on show in what must surely be the spiritual home of his craft; one of the busiest piazzas in London and its theatrical hub. His floating building follows on from a sliding house, upside down house and many other puzzling optical illusions.

  11. List

    Back in 2013 designers Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman launched 40 Days of Dating, where they entered into a seven week relationship with each other to explore the world of romance from a creative perspective.

  12. Main

    Switzerland-based artist Pascale Keung makes delightfully diverse work which is inspired by her chosen country’s stunning natural landscape as often as it is by wild fantasies. This series Muttsee is an example of the former, a collection of images about “a very special place in the Alps of Switzerland” where she goes to fish with her friends from time to time.

  13. List

    Anna Burns is a set designer with a taste for the ambitious. Who could forget her work with Thomas Brown where they created B-Movie inspired installations out of flammable umbrellas? For her latest work Anna has collaborated with Michael Bodiam on a series inspired by nuclear catastrophe and our contradictory attitudes towards it – apocalyptic fear on the one hand and weird fascination on the other.