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Joel Cahen
Sunday the 8th of may at 13:00 in Lyseng Svømmebad presenting
External link: www.wetsounds.co.uk
Joel Cahen
Sound Artist (IL/UK), 1972
How would you characterize the potential of art?
Art can have the power to transport the spectator/listener into a realm of introspection and observation, opening a dialogue or a study between the inner and outer world. It could be a learning experience or a synergy creating something bigger and new. An idea, a shared impression, an action and experience. I think of good art works like bright lights at the end of wormholes created by the artist as links between the displayed moment and the audience/spectators there, and a particular ‘Truth’. This being no less than an epiphany in varying magnitudes.

Which possibilities, qualities and limitations do you find in sound as material?
People rely on sound to determine their immediate physical and social environment and things that interact with it. It is the first sense we develop still in the womb, and it influences, and is influenced by, the way we feel. Playing with sound can have a profound effect on people so using it as creative material can enhance the way one expresses a particular mood, thought or narrative and make it very immersive and immediate. Sound is highly associative, in a second of sound one can be informed of a large amount of information, where, who, what. I use these association as a compositional tool.

People understand and differentiate different sound sources despite hearing many at once, you can focus on one particular sound while hearing many together. As opposed to visual presentation where the perception is very directional. So sound has the advantage of being able to be represented simultaneously and non directionally.

I like it that sound is like a sign of life, when playing with circuits, computers or instruments, sound indicates an action and dynamic.

Sound as material has the limitation of needing particular tools for representation, I mean speakers and amplifier and electricity, there is material that doesn't need this but if you choose to use sound in a particular way it will be relying on technology for its playback. It doesnt just exist like an image or a sculpture or a landscape, it needs to be activated and reactivated and it disappears as it came, it is ephemeral and intangible. This is not necessarily a limitation but a characteristic. In our age of rapid visual stimulation, the tolerance needed to absorb the duration of a sound piece can be challenging for some people, but this would affect their perception of any art to a certain degree as well.

What characterizes a good work of sound/musical art?
A good Sound Art work for me is a work which manages to immerse me in the environment where the piece is presented through sound, the sound could be part of the work, it often is. Sound when used on its own with no accompanying conceptual text, narrative or accompanying visual, experiential or interactive element, I regard as Music. In turn, Music, when played in a particular social space or physical space, transforms the space and becomes experiential, it alters my experience of what is happening and if this is framed within an art idea or gallery, it can be regarded as Sound Art.

A good Sound Art work also connects me to the concept which guides it and keeps me interested. Generally in Art I dont think in terms of good or bad but rather in terms of interesting and boring. This is somewhat prone to the mood I'm in when I am there of course, but a lot of it can come from the art work's ability to extract me from my mood and open me to its mood and ideas.

What moves you?
The incredible interactions between everything all the time.
Michael Beil