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Budhaditya Chattopadhyay Sound Installation at University of Leiden

Expanded Object – Sound Installation
October 2, 2019 – January 31, 2020
ACPA exhibition space, PJ Veth Building Nonnensteeg 1-3, Leiden
Opening hours: Weekdays 10:00 – 17:00

As part of his residency at iii, Budhaditya Chattopadhyay is having an exhibition at ACPA exhibition space in Leiden University.

Can “sound” be “exhibited” as a visual or artistic object?

The project Expanded Object responds to a crucial question: can “sound” be “exhibited” as a visual or artistic object? And also: is “exhibiting sound” problematic from an art historical perspective, considering the nature and characteristics of sound, a volatile and immaterial phenomenon spilling over any visual object framed within an exhibition setting.

In addressing this fundamental problem, the project examines how sound art can approach and negotiate materiality, visuality, and objecthood within a post-digital media art exhibitory context. This approach manifests by a deliberate visual suggestion but withholding of any visual evidence in the photographic canvas, which is a traditional visual object.

The subjective listening position is the crucial departing point of the project, manifesting in an interactive environment for the viewer/listener. Following this conceptual entry point, a novel mode of “objectifying” sound is devised within a traditional gallery or museum-based exhibitory context.

This method includes framed empty canvases augmented with speaker systems to reproduce sound in an installation setting. The method used redefines sound experience as an “expanded object” – intensifying the perception of the object within an exhibition, where sound is spatially organized to augment the materiality of the frames using the relative position of the listening (and/or viewing) audience. Such conceptual position challenges what art historian Clement Greenberg termed the “medium specificity of art” to offer an innovative instrument for practicing intermediality and convergence.

A prototype of the project was presented at ZKM Karlsruhe during Resonant Worlds: Sound, Art & Science conference. It was later installed at Foreningen for Samtidskunst, Copenhagen in April 2018, and presented at The Grey Space in the Middle during ARC (art_research_convergence), Den Haag, in September 2018.

The current exhibition is a fuller version of the project developed through research in sonic interaction and sonification, developed during a residency at iii, Den Haag.

Developed in technical collaboration with Tobias Lintl (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna) and Akash Sharma (Sound.Codes, Mumbai)