Art, Chelsea, Contemporary Art, Galleries, New York City

Making Sound with Shadows

by David Behringer of the Two Percent

Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller @ Luhring Augustine Gallery,  

531 W 24th St, NYC. Ends 11 June 2016  More Images

What:
The 1st room has a trailer full of marionette puppets (check one out here), that are beautifully operated by machines, as the puppets work to design and build their own marionette puppets (it's so meta - and yes you can sit in the chairs to watch the show within a show that they're producing).  But the back room is even better (pictured above) with a table full of speakers that you can "play" with your shadow.
 

Why it matters:
Honestly I didn't fully understand this show until writing this right NOW!!  This is great: The marionette puppets in the front room are not operated by any human, but the speakers in the back cause you to lift your hand over the speakers: which is the action of a puppeteer... without strings!!!  Like the Hawkinson show [Ed. see previous post], it's just a place to let you imagination and wonder run wild (and these 2 galleries are next-door-neighbors!).

TIP:  The shadow piece in the back is not as directly  "cause and effect" as you might imagine (so don't think it's broken if you put your hand over a speaker and nothing happens). Sometimes you have to wait with your shadow over a speaker for a few seconds, sometimes you don't notice that your head shadow is triggering an unintentional speaker, and most of the time, nothing happens at all... or perhaps a longer audio track was triggered by someone else 5 minutes ago?.  I think I like it that way - it's more an adventure of discovery and surprise and mystery, rather than a cute fast simple game. You'll love it.