John Wynne Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

John Wynne
Installation for 300 speakers, Pianola and vacuum cleaner


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’.

Other artists in
Artists in future exhibitions

Caroline Achaintre    Rebecca Ackroyd    Markus Amm    Ivan Argote    Dan Attoe    Michael Bauer    Dan Bayles    Anna Freeman Bentley    Emilia Bergmark    Gabriele Beveridge    Gabriella Boyd    Sarah Braman    Bozidar Brazda    Jonny Briggs    David Brooks    Joey Bryniarska    Agnieszka Brzezanska    Peter Linde Busk    Carter    Nathan Cash Davidson    Loz Chalk    Ronin Cho    James Clarkson    Lucy Coggle    Andy Collins    Ana Cvorovic    Ian Davis    Inez de Coo    Nicholas Dedics    Dominic From Luton    Robert Dowling    Stef Driesen    Colden Drystone    Howard Dyke    Ara Dymond    Judith Eisler    Annabel Emson    Ayan Farah    Dee Ferris    Daphne Fitzpatrick    Michael Fullerton    Dmitri Galitzine    Julia Goldman    Elias Hansen    Hilary Harnischfeger    Chris Hawtin    Kati Heck    Patrick Hill    Dan Holdsworth    Phillipa Horan    David Humphrey    Tom Hunter    Florence Hutchings    Jessica Jackson Hutchins    Merlin James    Jacob Dahl Jürgensen    Bernadette Kerrigan    Terence Koh    Alice Könitz    Ulrich Lamsfuss    Liane Lang    Molly Larkey    Paul Lee    George Henry Longly    Juliette Losq    Lake & Evans    Jill Mason    Simon Mathers    Claire McArdle    Ella McCartney    Martin McMurray    Ryan McNamara    Turay Mederic    Robert Melee    Ian Monroe    Kristine Moran    Eduard Moreno    Luisa Mota    Carlos Noronha Feio    Nick Nowicki    William J. O'Brien    Matt O'dell    Marco Palmieri    Selma Parlour    Oliver Perkins    Dustin Pevey    Marius Pfannenstiel    Arthur Prior    Max Prus    Neil Raitt    Sean Raspet    Brian Reed    Halsey Rodman    Jessica Sanders    Hideyuki Sawayanagi    Amba Sayal-Bennett    Lara Schnitger    Maaike Schoorel    Macrae Semans    Jamie Shovlin    Daniel Silver    Agathe Snow    Jeni Spota    Jack Strange    Miriam Sweeney    Shaan Syed    Emma Talbot    Mateo Tannatt    Stephanie Taylor    Adam Thompson    Rafal Topolewski    Ryan Trecartin    Nobuko Tsuchiya    Caroline Walker    John Wallbank    Ben Washington    Chuck Webster    Aaron Wexler    Poppy Whatmore    Julia Whiting    Jenny Wiener    Alexi Williams Wynn    Susanne M. Winterling    Joel Wyllie    John Wynne    Haeri Yoo

John Wynne's Biography

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Auditory Alarm Study 6.03. Wapping Hydraulic Power Plant

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

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