Space of Sound / Sound of Space 2012

Nick Liadis
Gestures 16: Intimate Friction, March 30 – November 30, 2012
braided rope, hardware, speakers, sound, paint

The spatial world and the aural world co-constitute one experience together That understanding brings us into a richer engagement with any space in our...


The spatial world and the aural world co-constitute one experience together. That understanding brings us into a richer engagement with any space in our lived world. The eyes and ears work together and tell us much about a place—every place. // There are times when the eyes and ears become so rapidly tangled—so overly stimulated—you hear what you see and see what you hear. That is phenomenon worthy of exploration for both a tectonics of music and one of architecture. // Hear the inner voice in your head as you read these words. Hear the room to which you’ve entered. The whole room including the overlapping sounds that mix, blurring their distinctions with imposing clarity. There are three sound sources spilling music into the space; the atmosphere thickens as each piece saturates the air with another. Fleeting moments of contrast—marked by resonance and dissonance—render the place with varying color. Spaces with music change frenetically; sound cannot accumulate and is doomed to the passage of time. The walls attempt to contain—to capture it, but sound is unrestrained and resists arrest. It fluctuates. // Now listen. Listen well, because as you begin to move through this singular space—as you begin to leave the fringes of the entrance and move about—you will find yourself faced with rope. These ropes crowd the space, give it scale, and create a palpable form within it. Movements shift these ropes and the overall volume flexes and changes, indicating impermanence, like the moving sounds of the music, as you maneuver about. At a point, you may find yourself gazing up or down—a yellow circle beneath and a sound source above. When you are there, center yourself in the column of music. Your body’s position will activate space. Negative space is marked by the absence of rope; there are no walls or permanent barriers. This encircled volume has atmosphere, too, though not exactly like the surrounding space. Something curious is heard: The music in this column of space—beneath the speaker and above the circle—is slightly clearer and more detailed than it was elsewhere. Though emphasizing weight because of its proximity, the music also has deliberate and clear direction at a precise location within the volume. An axis is created and the space is alive. Take one step over and it vanishes—there is a boundary. Just like walls are boundaries. Something invisible has delineated a space: On one side, things are heard without detail. On the other, they are heard with it. It has nothing to do with the rope—the sound has spatial attributes. But you don’t see it with your eyes. You may be fooled into thinking there is one space, but there are many. Invisible or unseen, these spaces are better suited for the ears. Now listen…


Curated by Mary Lou Arscott

About the Artist

Nick Liadis attended Maygrove College for classes in the School of Music from 2003-2007. He then attended University of Detroit Mercy for a Master of Architecture. Liadis is an architect of sound, a theorist searching for a tectonics of music. He is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, School of Architecture.