Opening hours:
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Friday:
2pm -10pm 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nolan Lem: in praise of idleness

24 August 2020 > 02 September 2020 Kindly invited to the exhibition "in praise of idleness" by Nolan Lem, organized as a part of the opening night of the international art, science and technology festival Is it working? (24 - 28 August) that will present newer productions of Ljudmila Association and other partner institutions of european network EASTN-DC.

Nolan Lem: in praise of idleness (2020)

Kinetic installation

socket wrenches, wood, metal, motors, mechanical components, electronics, microcontroller

The exhibition is organized as a part of the opening night of the international art, science and technology festival Is it working? (24 - 28 August) that will present newer productions of Ljudmila Association and other partner institutions of european network EASTN-DC.

Guided tours: Wednesday, 26 August & Friday, 28 August 2020, 5 pm.
Opening hours of the Alkatraz Gallery: Monday – Thursday: 11a.m. – 7 p.m., Friday: 2 – 10 p.m.;
Saturday, 29 August and Sunday, 30 August: 5 – 10 p.m.


In this site-specific installation, several large socket wrenches (also known as “ratchets”) are driven by an assembly of motors that kinetically rotate them into different formal configurations. As an audio-visual symbol linking mechanical labour with the passage of time, the socket wrenches evoke the ambient landscapes of swarms of stridulating insects, metronomes, or ticking clocks. In order to control their behaviour, several different algorithmic techniques are used to choreograph the socket wrenches’ collective dynamics, the result being a cooperative and sometimes crude synchronisation of movement and sound that is realised through their kinetic design and through the “sound(s) of their own making”, a reference to Robert Morris’s piece of a similar title. Dialoguing with Jacques Attali’s notion of noise as constituting “a political economy of music”– one that is intimately tied up with society’s modes of production – this piece points to the ways in which simple repetition can be exploited to build up complex auditory textures through a process of constructive accumulation and concatenative aggregation. 

This resultant sound mass is in some way a sonification of the physical labour being simultaneously performed by both human and machine. Similarly, by listening in on this tournage méchanique, this sculpture also attempts to reconstruct the subjectivity inherent in time estimation where each click demarcates a separate discrete “moment” that both coincides and diverges with the others in the group at different times. The title, in praise of idleness, is taken from an essay by Bertrand Russel in which he calls into question our cultural obsession with work as inherently virtuous.

In this site-specific installation, several large socket wrenches (also known as “ratchets”) are driven by an assembly of motors that kinetically rotate them into different formal configurations. As an audio-visual symbol linking mechanical labour with the passage of time, the socket wrenches evoke the ambient landscapes of swarms of stridulating insects, metronomes, or ticking clocks. In order to control their behaviour, several different algorithmic techniques are used to choreograph the socket wrenches’ collective dynamics, the result being a cooperative and sometimes crude synchronisation of movement and sound that is realised through their kinetic design and through the “sound(s) of their own making”, a reference to Robert Morris’s piece of a similar title. Dialoguing with Jacques Attali’s notion of noise as constituting “a political economy of music”– one that is intimately tied up with society’s modes of production – this piece points to the ways in which simple repetition can be exploited to build up complex auditory textures through a process of constructive accumulation and concatenative aggregation. 

This resultant sound mass is in some way a sonification of the physical labour being simultaneously performed by both human and machine. Similarly, by listening in on this tournage méchanique, this sculpture also attempts to reconstruct the subjectivity inherent in time estimation where each click demarcates a separate discrete “moment” that both coincides and diverges with the others in the group at different times. The title, in praise of idleness, is taken from an essay by Bertrand Russel in which he calls into question our cultural obsession with work as inherently virtuous.

Nolan Lem is an artist and researcher whose work reflects a broad range of influences and mediums particularly those related to sound and kinetic motion. His work focuses on the dynamics of emergent systems, autonomous machines and the synchronisation of auditory phenomena. 

He has premiered his work and research at a number of diverse spaces including the Museum of Modern Art Buenos Aires (MAMBA), Pioneer Works (Brooklyn, US), LHOSTE Art Contemporain (Arles, FR) and the Danish National Museum of Music (Copenhagen, DK). Artist and research residencies include IRCAM, MassMoCA, Cité Internationale des Arts and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art. He holds degrees in music, electrical engineering, and received his MFA at Columbia University where he studied at the Computer Music Center (CMC). Nolan is currently a PhD candidate at Stanford University where he studies at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA).

https://www.nolanlem.com/

 

Production: Stanford University CCRMA, Aalborg University – Multisensory Experience Lab, Alkatraz Gallery, KUD Mreža, Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory

Photo of the exhibition in the Alkatraz Gallery: Matjaž Rušt, archive of  Ljudmila Association
Photo of the exhibition opening: Katja Goljat, archive of  Ljudmila Association

 

About CCRMA
The Stanford University Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), founded by John Chowning, is a multi-discipline facility where composers and researchers work together using computer-based technology both as an artistic medium and as a research tool. This research centre focuses on a number of concentrations in areas related to audio and technology, composition, computer music, physical modelling, audio signal processing, sound recording and reproduction, psychoacoustics, acoustics, music information retrieval, audio networking and spatial sound. The centre houses academic courses for Stanford students as well as seminars, small interest group meetings, summer workshops and colloquia for the broader community. Concerts of computer and experimental music are presented regularly throughout the year. 

About Aalborg University – Multisensory Experience Lab
Multisensory Experience Lab at Aalborg University (Copenhagen), is where VR and other multisensory experiences are developed to explore the combination of different input and output modalities in interactive applications, with a particular interest in research topics related to sonic interaction design for environments that combine the virtual and physical worlds.

 

The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Municipality of Ljubljana Department for Culture and Ministry of Public Administration. The project is part of the EASTN-DC Network, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Programme of Alkatraz Gallery is supported by the Ministry for Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and City Council Ljubljana - Department for Culture.