John Wynne Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

John Wynne
Installation for 300 speakers, Pianola and vacuum cleaner

2009

300 speakers, Pianola, vacuum cleaner, audio amplifiers, hard disc recorder, speaker wire, suction hose, piano roll

Dimensions variable

John Wynne’s untitled installation for 300 speakers, player piano and vacuum cleaner is at once monumental, minimal and immersive. It uses sound and sculptural assemblage to explore and define architectural space and to investigate the borders between sound and music. The piece has three interwoven sonic elements: the ambient sound of the space in which it is installed, the notes played by the piano, and a computer-controlled soundtrack consisting of synthetic sounds and gently manipulated notes from the piano itself. Because none of these elements are synchronised with each other, the composition will never repeat. The music punched into the paper roll is Franz Léhar’s 1909 operetta Gypsy Love, but the mechanism has been altered to play at a very slow tempo and the Pianola modified to play only the notes which most excite the resonant frequencies of the gallery space in which it is installed. Sound moves through the space on trajectories programmed using a 32-channel sound controller, creating a kind of epic, abstract 3-D opera in slow motion. Originally developed at Beaconsfield Gallery, a former Victorian ‘ragged school’ in South London, this piece draws on notions of obsolescence and nostalgia, combining early 20th -century technology and culture with a vast collection of recently discarded hi-fi speakers. These disparate components are brought together through contemporary digital technology which not only distributes the sound but also controls the (found) vacuum cleaner which in turn drives the Pianola. The piece is site-specific, but it also carries traces of its own history: some of the synthetic sounds were created in response to the light industrial ambience of the work’s original location, some in response to its new site in the Saatchi Gallery. The mountainous formation of speakers, inspired by the recycling plant from which they were rescued, functions both visually and as a platform for the projection of sound, creating, in the words of writer Brandon LaBelle, ‘a soft balance between order and chaos, organization and its rupture’.


John Wynne's Biography

John Wynne
Born in 1957, Canadian Air Force base, Zweibrücken, Germany
Lives and works in London, UK



SOLO EXHIBITIONS


2013
Anspayaxw. Satellite Gallery, Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, Canada

2012
Anspayaxw. Alley Cat Gallery, San Francisco, in conjunction with Ethnographic Terminalia and the American Anthropological Association
Installation no. 2 for high and low frequencies. Curated by Fieldgate for Angus-Hughes Gallery, London

2009
Installation for 300 speakers, Pianola and vacuum cleaner. Beaconsfield Soundtrap commission, London
Wireframe. Surrey Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

2008
Transplant. Collaborative installation w Tim Wainwright, The Nunnery, London and Beldam Gallery, Brunel University, Uxbridge
Hearts, Lungs and Minds. (half-hour radio piece) BBC Radio 3

2007
Flow. Collaborative installation w Tim Wainwright, Old Operating Theatre Museum, London

2006
230 Unwanted Speakers (Walnut Grained Vinyl Veneered Particleboard Construction). Hull Art Lab, Hull, UK

2005
Hearing Voices. Installation, Botswana National Museum, National Art Gallery of Namibia, Brunei Gallery, London
Hearing Voices. Half-hour radio piece, BBC Radio 3

2002
Response Time. Public sound installation, Metro Hall Square, Toronto for New Adventures in Sound Art

2000
Grasping and Clinging. Collaborative installation w Denise Hawrysio, Project 304, Bangkok, Thailand


GROUP EXHIBITIONS


2013
What is What. Cold Atlantic. Blurred Edges, Frise Kunslerhaus, Hamburg, Germany

2012
Cold Atlantic. Volume: Hear Here, Justina M Barnicke Gallery, Toronto, Canada
Transplant. 'Sound Art: Sound as a Medium for Art', ZKM Institute, Karlsruhe, Germany

2011
Installation no. 1 for high and low frequencies. Hearing Loss. 'Air I Breathe', Gazelli Art House at the Rochelle School, London

2010
Anspayaxw. ‘Border Zones: New Art across Cultures’, The Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver

2009
Faster Higher Stronger. ‘Sound Proof 2’, independent art space, London

2008
Response Time II. ‘Parallax’, Fieldgate Gallery, London
Someone Else and ITU. Collaborative installations w Tim Wainwright, Deep Wireless Festival, Gallery 1313, Toronto

2007
Push comes to Shove. Collaborative installation w Denise Hawrysio, ‘Analogue & Digital’, Fieldgate Gallery, London and ‘Transcentric’, Lethaby Gallery, London
Hearing Loss. ‘Signal and Noise’, VIVO, Vancouver
Feeding the Habit of Energy. Podcast soundwalk, RADAR, Loughborough University
ITU. Collaborative video w Tim Wainwright, ‘The Performance of Sound’, TATE Britain. Also shown at The Old Operating Theatre Museum, London and ‘The Art of Immersive Soundscapes’, Regina, Canada

2005
Sound CAD. E:vent, London
Do(n’t). Text/sound interventions on the BBC Big Screen, Humber Mouth Literary Festival, Hull

2004
Hmm. ‘Noises’, Open Arts Platform, London
Fallender ton für 207 lautsprecher boxen. 2yk Galerie, Berlin
Motion-triggered plastic carrier bags. Great Hall, Goldsmiths College
Medicine Box. Soundtrack for film by David Leister, Rotterdam International Film Festival

2003
Auditory Alarm Study 6.03. Wapping Hydraulic Power Plant

2002
Horisontista Horisonttiin. ‘Runaway Spatial Plan Project’, Helsinki, Finland

2001
Cry Wolf. ‘Transience’, Kiasma, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland