Intermedia Art

New Media, Sound and Performance

Open Sound Systems  16 September 2005

Alvin Lucier and John White

Open Sound Systems
Video still from live performance © Tate 2005

The American composer Alvin Lucier was an early pioneer of sound works which use systems as a generative device. He has since produced innovations in many areas of musical composition and performance, including the notation of physical gestures, the use of brain waves in live performance, and the evocation of room acoustics for musical purposes. His recent works include a series of performances in which, by means of close tunings with pure tones, sound waves are caused to spin through space.

For this series of performances, Lucier presents work that has a strong connection to the artistic strategies represented in Open Systems: Rethinking Art c.1970 Symposium. Leading artists, critics, historians and theorists discuss how experimental art in the 1960s and 70s responded to the social, political and technological conditions of the time. Speakers include Donna De Salvo (curator of Open Systems: Rethinking Art c.1970), Alexander Alberro, Sabeth Buchmann, Diederich Diederichsen, Braco Dimitrijevic, Briony Fer, Hans Haacke, Margaret Iversen, Peter Osborne and Anne Rorimer.

The programme features four compositions by Lucier; one piece by his former student, the late British composer, video artist and filmmaker Stuart Marshall; work by noted British composer John White; as well as new work in the spirit of Lucier's practice by emerging composers John Lely, Andrew Morgan, and Tim Parkinson. The composers will perform their work in collaboration with a group of emerging musicians.

Curated in association with Seth Kim-Cohen. Presented in collaboration with Centre for Creative Research into Sound Art and Performance.

Alvin Lucier

Live Performance at Tate Modern

John White

Live performance recordings of John White's compositions

Open Sound Systems text

Text by Seth Kim Cohen for Open Sound Systems

Composition, Repetition, Entropy

Text on aesthetic strategies c.1970 by Ben Borthwick