Art + Tech

The LACMA Art + Technology Lab supports experiments in design, creative entrepreneurship, adventures in art and industry, collaboration, and interdisciplinary dialogue.

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How to Make One's Self into a Siren: An Acoustemological Mix by Curtis Tamm

Acoustic + Epistemology = Acoustemology
“As place is sensed, senses are placed; as places make sense, senses make place.”
-Steven Feld

Part of Curtis Tamm’s 2017 LACMA Art + Technology Lab project, Tympanic Teather. Tamm conducted audio visual fieldwork in geologically active parts of the world to reevaluate the relationship between culture and natural catastrophes. Traveling to Santorini, Greece, Yellowstone National Park in the US, East Iceland, and multiple locations in Japan, he researched the experiential and technological origins of the siren as a warning device and developed a series of new “siren candidates.” Far from typical sirens, these sounds aim to heal trauma. Instead of a shrill wail, think of resonating temple bells, the visceral bubbling of thermal mudpots, and the distant calls of wildlife across Yellowstone’s vast Central Plateau.



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Signal Tide — Two Passes: A Special Audio Mix by Kovács/O’Doherty

From Kovács/O’Doherty's 2016 Art + Technology Lab project, Signal Tide. The artists produced a series of experimental music performances featuring a call and response with a live satellite. The work was developed to be a poetic reply to the erratic signals of LES-1, a defunct spacecraft that ceased to function in 1967 but unexpectedly started transmitting again in 2013. Signal Tide was essentially a sound and extraterrestrial radio installation, which combined the satellite’s wavering signal overhead with a special generative musical score based on sacred harp singing melodies—a tradition of sacred choral music originating in New England.



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Signal Tide Companion — An Interview with the Artists

Joel Ferree from the LACMA Art + Tech Lab spoke with Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty about the inspiration behind Signal Tide, and the project's research and development. Included in the interview are anecdotes about tracking the signal of the LES-1 satellite from LACMA's rooftop, studying the folk music traditions of New England, recording the musical score, and more. 



Review our track list here.