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Magazine

21 March 2013
Everyday electronics and Readymade

Imma Prieto

The latest proposal from Praxis at Artium features Guillem Bayo with Close Encounters with a S.O.F.A (Sequencer Oscillator Filter Armchair).As ever in his work, Bayo carries out a sensorial investigation amplifying the magnitude of each action beyond the limits of the object he designs. A sort of dialogue with and for technology that ends up being culminated by the spectator with her active presence in the space.

This time in his proposal he recreates a display that recalls an everyday space. A sofa invites us to sit down, soft light, a chair and, above the rocking chair a device that is hard to classify. The artist situates himself on the threshold of sound and electronic art, and from there, defies the spectator to generate music. The main idea is to produce random sounds with parameters that can be altered by the spectators. In this debate between the stigma of the everyday and the technological, Bayo manages to bring together methodologies and natures under the sign of the Readymade. De-contextualised objects acquire a new significance by way of their fusion. An encounter that propitiates an open ending and changing atmosphere one cloaked under the sign of chance.

Beyond the semantic game of the title, that already tells us a lot, the spectator joins in the installation sharing authorship of an unannounced finale. Like many other artistic languages, sound art is interdisciplinary by nature, feeding off hybrid forms and everything that takes place around it. Maybe there is no other goal, than exploration and there is no other method than communication. A plural dialogue with no moderator offering just notes, no score.

We can’t obviate that the device hides pre-established codes and random parameters that exist and mediate beyond the wishes of the spectator. However, the categorisation of the work is unviable without a result, and this is unpredictable.

To realise it the artist makes use of a basic tutorial of midi out. This tutorial explores the basic points of transmission with MIDI (Musical Instruments Digital Interface). MIDI was developed in the mid-eighties as a standard industrial protocol designed to enable communication between musical instruments, computers and a variety of other devices. Currently it is still used beyond its founding role for applications of a diverse nature, associated with mobile phones and illumination systems. A random sequencer and a Piano Matic 3000 are linked to MIDI. The hardware, in turn, is made up of six pots and three LEDs.

Bayo combines an internal and external structure without any technological pretentions, or maybe yes, if we take the ephemeral as a result. The display feeds off the very structure that manages it, and said structure is also read as a sum of invisible threads that share the space with the spectator, having been activated by her.

Another of the attributes of the work is how it suggests a new category of the everyday that is common to all. Behind the sofa and the rocking chair, we find a table in the form of a laboratory. Despite not being used to some of the apparatus that generates sound, we are, on the contrary, to this desire to want to recreate hybrid homemade scenarios between technology and the sofa. A sort of everyday scenario, that Bayo recreates in the form of a sonorous and experimental metaphor.

Imma Prieto has for years been marking out three paths from which to reflect about the different contexts that characterise our contemporaneity. Criticism, curating and teaching enable her to think about and establish dialogues from different perspectives and with different objectives, looking for bridges between them. Her research has revolved around performance and video, languages that both arose in the dawn of the sixties that is, in the last years of modernity. Is it because we don´t really know where we are now? Conclusion?

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