Various Artists

ao3: Among Others 3, Audio-Visual Documents

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Ao3 cannot be considered only in its musical dimension. This was an audio-visual project, the third incarnation of an experiment curated by Daniela Swarowsky and held from April 28 to May 29, 1999. A performance/exhibit space (the Kunsthalle Exnergasse in Vienna, Austria) was made available for a month. Swarowsky grouped visual and sound artists who had not worked together previously into four units. Each group had 11 days to make something of the space: work by day, performance/exhibit by night. The twist was that their stay overlapped for three days and that the next team was allowed to build from the remains of its predecessor. A CD documenting aural achievements would have told only one half of the story. But ao3 comes packaged with a 100-page booklet, filled with lavish photographs and extensive notes explaining what was wished to happen, what did happen, and how it happened. Artistic ambition, desire to find compromise, clashes of egos -- all part of the experience, all documented. Participating sound artists include Clive Graham, Kaffe Matthews, Lionel Marchetti, Jérôme Noetinger (these two would pursue their collaboration further, recording a CD as a duo and another one with together with Voice Crack), Werner Dafeldecker, Erin McGonigle, and Manuel Mota. Reading the book while listening to the album is strongly recommended, as the audio part was not necessarily devised as a stand-alone CD. The performance by simul/T (Marchetti, Noetinger, and visual artist Peter Morrens) is the most aurally satisfying, but there is a lot to explore in this package for anyone interested in the relation between contemporary sound and visual arts.

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