Julianne Swartz – The Sound of Light

The Sound of Light, 2008-2009

Site-specific participatory sound installation, The Jewish Museum, New York, NY
Radio transmitters and sound compositions, custom signage
Radio Receivers made from cast plastic,  electronics, LED lights and speakers

Original soundtracks were composed and sited to interrelate with specific objects and displays in the Jewish Museum’s permanent collection. Emitted via radio signal, the sounds were only audible through one of the custom Receiver sculptures. Visitors could borrow a Receiver and hold it while walking through the exhibition. Listening to the Receiver, one could navigate the displays aurally, finding a way to a clear sound signal through areas of static and conflicting radio waves. Brightly lit signs placed in interstitial spaces through the exhibits signified zones of acoustic clarity and stated the name of the composition audible there. The signage was identical to the didactics already used in the displays.


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