Monday, January 14, 2008

Sonic Cubes, Catherine Béchard and Sabin Hudon, January 11 - February 9, 2008 Latitude 53

Enclosed in six seemingly still and silent cubes, a multitude of aural sensations await. Sputtering rain, crackling firewood, sighs and whispers; these and many more sounds from the mundane everyday trickle out as you lift and rotate each light weight cube (best to rotate in x, y, z pattern).
Stripped of their original context and embodied into wireless, wooden sonic cubes, the recorded sounds create an experience that is at once estranging and alluring. The sound gurgling out of a bath running does not resemble its sound-image understanding without the image. A slight rotation leads you to possibly leaves rustling, or a motor idling, or to any one of the experiences you try to recall, but taken out of their spatial surroundings, sounds foreign and comforting. The full experience of the exhibition comes when each cube is up in the air, sounds moving/hands moving, and the infinite combinations of tones and timbres clash and meld.
A comparison to Cardiff and Miller is resisted because the two sets of artists are ultimately exploring different realms. The duo of Béchard and Hudon may find closer affiliation with Martin Hannett, Factory Records producer at the forefront of creating space within sound. Obsessed with recording, it is the basic structure of a sound, any sound, and its relation to the space around them, that sits at the root of their artistic inspiration.
A truly interactive installation, Sonic Cubes is part three of an ongoing evolution of cubed sound. Part one produced a cube far too large and heavy to even lift; part two connected cube and computer with thick wiring; and the next step remains to be anticipated.

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