TAO G. VRHOVEC SAMBOLEC
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ARTIST AT SLEEP (2011)

Multichannel sound intervention

Commissioned by Tonspur-Vienna for Andreas Bosshard's KlangHimmel at MuseumsQuartier, 2011

Duration: 5 hours - to be played between 0 and 7 A.M.

Artist at Sleep is a sound intervention exploring articulation of bare human presence through medium of sound and addresses the state of sleep as a creative moment in contrast to the idea that the creativity can only result from conscious activity. The title of the work Artist at Sleep, pays direct tribute to Mladen Stilinović's conceptual piece Artist at Work (1978), and Andy Warhol's film Sleep (1963).

Installed closely to the artist’s sleeping body at night, several microphones were used to record the breathing and minute body movements in a silent bedroom, occasionally registering distant sounds of the city outside. The resulting sound is being played through a large-scale speaker installation KlangHimmel in Vienna's MuseumsQuartier at night. The sonic presence of an amplified and enlarged sleeping body is created, lying quietly on the square.

The projection of the intimate sounds of the sleeping artist via an array of loudspeakers onto a vast public square transforms what was initially unintentional into a performative act. The ambiguous tensions brought out through this displacement create a paradoxical space, where the sonic presence of the sleeping body becomes ubiquitous yet foreign, performative yet not, public and intimate, all in the same moment.

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