We did it! Thank you to everyone who helped to make this project a reality. Funds over the stated goal will be used to improve the quality of the simulations, documentation, performance, and rewards - so please back us until the deadline!
The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) is relocating to a new building, and the fate of their current home, Woo Hon Fai Hall (Mario Ciampi, 1970) is uncertain. If the building is repurposed, the open gallery space will be reinforced and divided up. Whatever the building's fate, the beloved acoustic of this brutalist gem will soon change forever.
On January 28, 2015, when the last exhibition is gone and the galleries are empty, we will measure, study, listen to, and document the acoustic nature of the space. We will then commission sound artists to engage creatively with the palette of data and perform for the public in acousmatic style at The Lab in San Francisco. For the performance, a state-of-the-art Meyer Sound Constellation audio system will be installed at The Lab, and a live recording will be released in digital and vinyl LP formats. Listeners will experience the acoustic soul of the Ciampi building, disembodied from the physical space and modified through the lens of the artists.
Traditional (dodecahedral loudspeaker) and cutting edge (laser scan) measurement techniques will be used to better understand how sound energy develops within the space. Impulse responses, point clouds, and simulations will be generated for artistic, scientific, and archival use.
Awareness of the sonic importance of brutalist architecture will be raised at a time where buildings of this style are being demolished at an alarming pace. The Ciampi building's cascading planes of concrete, cavernous interior, and spare finishes amount to a unique acoustic praised by performers and audiences for decades, and this is a rare window of opportunity understand and preserve, in-part, how its acoustics influenced the performances that took place inside it.
This Kickstarter is the sole source of funding for this project. BAM/PFA are providing access to the space but only if we can fund the project ourselves. The funding goal is the minimum required for the success of this important project.
This concept was devised during an overlap of residencies at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer in Troy, NY. Playback system, measurement equipment, and measurement support generously provided by Meyer Sound.
Jacqueline Gordon is a visual and sound artist who resides in Los Angeles, CA. Gordon received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (2004) and an MFA from Stanford University (2011) where her research focused on the history of communications technology and the physiological and psychophysical effects of music and sound on the body. Gordon has had solo shows at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (2014), CULT Exhibitions (2014), Pro Arts Gallery (2013, Oakland), Eli Ridgway Gallery (2012, San Francisco) and Queens Nails (2009, San Francisco). Gordon has received numerous awards including the 2011 Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Award, a Center for Cultural Innovation Grant (2011, 2014) and a San Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity Grant (2009). She has participated in artist residencies at Skowhegan School of Drawing and Painting (2011), The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) (2014), Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (2008) and Djerassi Resident Artists Program (2013).
For the past 6 years, Gordon has been a member of the music and performance collective, 0th, whose performances include venues such as The Berkeley Art Museum (2011), The San Francisco Electronic Music Festival (2011), and Southern Exposure (2010). Gordon has recently been developing a new performance with sound artist, Leatitia Sonami. They have performed together at Yerba Center for the Arts (San Francisco, 2011) and SOMArts (San Francisco, 2012).
Zackery Belanger is a designer, consultant, and researcher whose work is driven by the integration of acoustic performance into architectural design. Belanger consulted and led R & D at Kirkegaard Associates from 2002 - 2010, where he developed diffusive surface geometries and balanced acoustic fabric for the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer in Troy, NY. In 2010 he and Julie Flohr received a research grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, which initiated an inquiry into the nature of the relationships between sound and enclosure geometry. In 2013 he was named the inaugural Researcher-in-Residence at EMPAC, where he began development of a new geometrical framework for acoustic assessment and design. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Physics from Oakland University and an M.S. degree in Architectural Sciences from Rensselaer. He is an Assistant Professor at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA, and performs live and through installations, most recently at Dlectricity Nuit Blanche Detroit, 2014. A significant part of Belanger's work is education; he has spoken at Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Smartgeometry, UMass Lowell, EMPAC, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Dlectricity, among others.
The following are just a few examples of the performances that have taken place
Risks and challenges
No loudspeaker number or amount processing power will substitute for Ciampi's beautiful natural acoustic environment. It's impossible to comprehensively document or recreate a real space. We're seeking to capture something less tangible, to push the envelope of acoustic measurement, documentation, and interpretation with this project - to aim beyond a "surround" performance. This is why the most advanced techniques and engagement of artists are critical to the process. When someone reflects on the performance or listens to the LP in ten years, we want them to simultaneously get an impression of what was and what was lost.
Though there is no certainty this will be achieved, Zackery and Jacqueline bring knowledge and experience that is extensive and complementary. Zackery's research on the relationships between geometry and acoustic performance, and Jacqueline's awareness and creation of sonic environments give the project a solid chance at success.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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