Those walking outside on Saturday evening in the East Village Arts District would do well to open their ears and listen carefully, SoundWalk2010 organizers say.
About 35 different artists will be showing off their various sound installations in both indoor and outdoor spaces, presented along Elm Avenue, Linden Avenue, First Street and Third Street and environs.
“It was started seven years ago as an attempt to activate the arts district in Long Beach,” said co-curator Marco Schindelmann, who is a member of presenter group FLOOD. “Over the years it has grown. Where the first year we had 20 artists participating — last year we had more than 100 artists and installations. This year, we’ve brought it down a little so people have time to see all the different installations and works.”
One way to enjoy the free event would be to go on a special tour lead by docent Glenn Bach. The tour will begin at 7 p.m. at Sipology, 448 E. Broadway.
“The whole model of SoundWalk is a museum without walls,” Bach said. “I’ll be leading the group not only through the neighborhoods but through these selected sites.”
Spectators may join the tour at any time.
“The more the merrier,” Bach said. “It’s about listening, so much of the time we will be quiet. Getting from Point A to Point B — we’ll be listening. Hopefully it will be a fun and focused time.”
The tour will last about one hour and 15 minutes, but will not include all artists.
“It will run the gamut from live performance to static sound installations, both on the street or in an interior space,” Bach said. “I’m going to try to hit as wide of variety of work as I can.”
The five-hour event does not have to be viewed from the tour, and people are encouraged to take their time with each piece and enjoy the moment, Schindelmann said.
“Sound art has the potential for multimedia manifestations,” he said.
“You may have installations that are sound-based, but still have video. It can be a hybridization. It really runs the gamut.”
Organizers said that the event is important because of the difficulty of displaying sound-based art and the infrequent opportunities to do so.
“It really brings to the community works of art that are not mainstream, but are anything upstream,” Schindelmann said. “Keep an open mind, that’s the most important thing.”
Some exhibits will only take up a small space, while others will be much larger.
“The range of different types of works might be a table that has different pieces of paper with instructions, so the people themselves are making the sound,” Schindelmann said. “They’re executing the piece through these instructions.
“One particular installation will span the entire city block — people will walk through with different experiences of sound.”
Bach agreed that the variety of installations was impressive.
“It can be very loud, very quiet, funny or serious — just as in any gallery or exhibition,” he said. “I think it’s just like using any other medium. Sound is definitely based in the moment — it’s a time-based medium, therefore it has a performative aspect and each person’s reaction will be completely different.”
SoundWalk2010 will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday. The art will be located within the boundaries of Elm and Linden avenues, and First and Third streets. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.soundwalk.org.
“This is more democratic in that we have to figure out what makes this engaging,” Schindelmann said. “It’s much more interactive and aggressive listening, as opposed to music that we sit back and get an ear massage with. Sound art is an ear workout.”