Audio Installation: There is No Discreet

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Liz Medoff
Sound Engineering by Andy Slater



Audio Installation: “There is No Discreet”

Image of Original Installation

Original Installation:
Autumn Space Gallery in Chicago, IL in 2012

This piece was completely black on the inside and built in a way so as to maximize reverberation and low tones in the audio. The structure began to vibrate, in effect "breathing" with the audio. The small, dark space created a very physical experience that literally echoed in, around, and through the body.

—Liz Medoff


Artist's Statement: “The Corporeal Monument: A Case for Embodied Commemoration”

What does it mean to feel remembering? To date, discussion of public memory of and memorials about trauma has been centered on visual means of representation. However, what about using other—invisible—media to bridge the gulf between representing a difficult past and our ability to connect to and feel it in the ongoing present? Using Seth KimCohen’s notion of “a conceptual, noncochlear sound art,” I posit that such a sound art holds great potential for the future of monuments to trauma—sound monuments, as it were. With the body as a commemorative tool, this work locates commemoration as an act rooted in the bodily experience of listening—I suggest that the body becomes the monument. Since, as a practicing artist, I have attempted to design one such "sound monument," this piece is equal parts artist statement, philosophical quandary, and reimagining of the future of memorials. By expanding our notions of commemorative representation to include media practices that not only foster, but depend on, collaboration with the audience to activate feeling, we may begin to apprehend and understand commemoration as an active process that transcends, and even negates, the limits of architecture and physical space.



Liz Medoff:

Broadly, Liz Medoff’s scholarly-creative research interests are concerned with trauma, commemoration, listening, and space. In her studio practice, Liz’s goal is to build structures that cast the bodily experience of listening as a conduit for commemorative engagement. Liz specializes in the study of “emotional culture”—iin other words, the critical study of the intersections of culture and felt experience. Liz is also a music fanatic and the founder of a radio-show-turned-music-curatorial-project, Knife Play – An Online Tastemaking Endeavor.

Liz received both her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in the department of Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she served as an advisor to undergraduate artists as well as an educator. Liz has presented work across the United States. Her writing appeared in Black Swan: New Work by Michelle Grabner (2012) as well as Mapping Generations of Traumatic Memory in American Narratives (2014), and continues to appear on an ongoing basis online at Dilettante Army. Liz currently lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Andy Slater:

Andy Slater is a blind musician, author, teaching artist, and social monkey wrench. He is the founder of the Society of Visually Impaired Sound Artists and holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


© 2016 Liz Medoff, used by permission

Technoculture Volume 6 (2016)