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Volumes for Sound

Melissa Dubbin and Aaron S. Davidson

A photo of Volumes for Sound
A photo of Volumes for Sound

Due to the process-based nature of the Session program, this project will undergo constant modifications; the features of this page provide accruing information on the project’s developments.

March 26–May 25, 2013

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On March 26, Melissa Dubbin and Aaron S. Davidson will begin work on Volumes for Sound as part of Recess’ signature program, Session. Session invites artists to use Recess’ public space as studio, exhibition venue, and grounds for experimentation.

Over the course of their Session, Dubbin and Davidson will create new works influenced by the geometries of sound. Funneling, folding and porting sound requires physical structures. Electric guitar amplifiers and cabinets make use of an imperfect architecture for energy, while acting as totems delineating an ancestry of sound amplification. These forms address archaeoacoustics and the pre-electrical harnessing of sound within architecture, while employing the staggered geometries of loudspeaker time-alignment and the slurred voicing of phase cancellation.

The artists will use photography as a method of recording various conditions. Sound waves reach our ears after traveling along different paths that describe overlapping triangles; a folded, warped and sonified camera-obscura. Cameras render an optical compression of tones akin to a constrained dynamic range in the audible realm. An image’s lack of sound becomes a way of defining the aural.

This Session will continue themes developed in earlier iterations of Volumes for Sound. Earlier works used untreated fiberboard sculptures as objects with potential for sound. These forms descend from familiar objects drawn together in domestic and architectural situations – such as the triangulation that occurs when a listener sits in a chair in front of a pair of speakers. This triangulation is collapsed into objects containing several variations for configuration. Artists were invited to create performances using the volumes. Between events they were left silent and photographs provided evidence of the previous configurations.

The artists will punctuate their Session with informal performances and presentations.

Session invites artists to use Recess’s public platform to combine productive studio space with dynamic exhibition opportunities. Sessions remain open to the public from the first day of the artist’s project through the last, encouraging sustained dialogue between artists and audiences. Due to the process-based nature of Session, projects undergo constant revision and the above proposal is subject to change.

About the artist

Melissa Dubbin and Aaron S. Davidson


Melissa Dubbin and Aaron S. Davidson have an ongoing collaborative practice that combines various media. Recent solo shows include exhibitions at Audio Visual Arts (AVA), New York City (2013), Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden, Norway (2012), and The Living Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland (2012). They have exhibited internationally at museums, galleries, and art centers including SculptureCenter, New York; Exit Art, New York; New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; 2004 Gwangju Biennale, S. Korea; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Dubbin and Davidson live in Brooklyn, New York.



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