Sunday, November 29, 2009

Admission--December 4, 2009-January 7, 2010

Title: Admission

Artists: Chris Purdie & Marc Bradley Johnson

Exhibition Dates: 4 December - 7 January

Opening Reception: Friday 4 December 6:00 - 8:00pm

Salt Lake City Gallery Stroll

Location: Rio Gallery

300 S. 455 W. Salt Lake City

(at the Rio Grande Depot)

Cost: Admission is free to the public

Gallery Contact: Laura Durham


Gallery Hours: 7:00am - 6:00pm Monday - Thursday
Design: Manasseh Langtimm

Photograph: Galen Dunn

Photograph: Galen Dunn
Design: Manasseh Langtimm


Art Exhibition of Sound & Motion

Two artists, two cubes, over two hundred speakers, and twelve doors combine to create Admission, the Rio Gallery’s next exhibition in December.

Artists Chris Purdie and Marc Bradley Johnson will be exhibiting two large interactive sculptures next month at Salt Lake City’s Rio Gallery. Purdie’s sculpture is a six-foot cube constructed by stacking over two hundred functioning speakers. Johnson’s sculpture is a seven-foot cube constructed of twelve functioning doors. The audience is invited to interact with these sculptures by listening to the speakers and by walking in and out of the doors.

Admission will be on display December 4 - January 7 with an opening reception in conjunction with Salt Lake City’s Gallery Stroll, Friday December 4 from 6-8pm (free to the public). The Rio Gallery is located in the historic Rio Grande Depot 300 S. 455 W. Salt Lake City (gallery hours are 7am-6pm Monday-Thursday).

Admission utilizes speakers to represent thought or voice and doors to demonstrate access to possibilities or options. Both sculptures involve the patron in a distinctive manner, presenting not only a visual, but also a multi-sensory experience based on perception and consciousness. Purdie’s black speaker cube is referencing sixties Minimalist artist Tony Smith’s Die. Johnson’s door cube was inspired by the philosophies of Antonio Gramsci. Purdie and Johnson were united for this exhibition through the commonalities of their concepts, mediums, and methods of display.

This Speakers Project was funded in part by Brigham Young University's Office of Research and Creative Activities.

The audio for
The Speakers was created in collaboration with the very talented Lance Montgomery.

Photography: Galen Dunn
Designs: Manasseh Langtimm

Essay: Joseph Parry

Technical Support: Jarime Billings, Neil Bly and Ned Clayton
Amplifier Design and Production: Ned Clayton

Promotions: Landon Hallman, Adam Reitz, Cole Sanders and Mike Woodward

Voices: Emily Fox, Andrew Kosorok,
Brian Andelin, Jarime Billings, Krystal Billings, Jared Clark, Lee Cowan, Noah Coleman, Jared Greenleaf, Marc Bradley Johnson, Jamie Purdie, Judy Simmons, and Shane Simmons.

Thanks to Laura Durham and the Rio Gallery for this opportunity.

Special thanks to Jamie Purdie for much help and support.


Download--Speaker Exodus.

After days and hours of construction I felt great anxiety about deconstructing the cube.
Loading up the speaker cube to move it from the studio to the Rio Gallery. Van loaded to the hilt.

Everything loaded and ready for transportation.

Upload--Speaker cube unloaded and ready for reconstruction.

Ned finishing the wiring of the amplifier.

Ready for the reception

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Preparing for Admission

My palette.

Or the cast of performers for Admission.

Control center inside the cube.

Gleaming the cube.

Four walls complete!

Beginning the roof

A beautiful interior shot of the Speaker Cube--the view most people will not see, at least not at this exhibit.


Me in the studio after completing the speaker cube for the upcoming exhibition Admission.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Recreating Tony Smith's Die with Black Speakers

My next scheduled exhibition Admission will be at the Rio Gallery downtown Salt Lake City December 4, 2009--January 7, 2010. Admission features myself and artist Marc Bradley Johnson. Marc is showing a seven foot cube constructed of doors and I am showing my first speaker piece, a reconstruction of Tony Smith's Die made of black speakers.

A few weeks ago I had the ground breaking, corner-speaker setting, and foundation building ceremony. Below is a picture of the crude beginnings.

In The Speakers 003 (Die) project, I am using speakers and sound to further unveil the references to anthropomorphism in Minimalist artist Tony Smith's Die.[1] I am reconstructing Smith’s Die out of black speakers and giving the cube a voice. The dimensions of mine and Smith’s Die correspond to those of the human body as depicted in Leonardo da Vinci's drawing, Vitruvian Man (72x72x72).[2] Both Smith and myself are interested in the ways physical objects, as well as our spatial proximity to those objects, shape our self-perception.[3] My work contributes to this focus on perception by adding a new dimension—sound. This piece, then, will both literally and theoretically delve into the phenomenological essence of man, which I take to be consciousness.

By giving an object an audible voice, I seek to fill the “hollowness” of which Die was convicted by critic Michael Fried.[4] Whereas most art gives to its audience, Fried criticized Die for sucking the soul of the viewer. The audio portion of my piece ties to this notion of a storehouse of human consciousness, or as I see it, a sort of black box recorder of humanity. The speakers will be relaying messages that humanity has collected and maintained as important to civilization, representing something essential to mankind, quotes from throughout history—ancient to contemporary. This piece will thus further blur the line between the so-called “non-art” and “art”, “object” and “essence.”[5] Delivering visual and aural elements at the same time, The Speakers 003 (Die) will educate the artist and the patron about the elements of human perception—one of the most central elements being consciousness.

[1] Michael Fried, Art and Objecthood: 1967, (published in Harrison, Charles, P. J. Wood. Art in Theory 1900 - 2000: An Anthology of Changing Ideas: 2002) 845.

[2] James Meyer. Minimalism: Phaidon, 2000, 172.

[3] Judith Collins. Sculpture Today: Phaidon Press Inc., 2007, 5.

[4] Michael Fried, Art and Objecthood: 839.

[5] Ibid., 836.

Manufacturing & Assembling the Amplifier

I am working with Ned Clayton to produce a 96 channel amplifier unique to the speaker projects.

Ned designed and manufactured the amplifier PCB's in which he is drilling holes while watching some TV as I prep the components.

My wife Jamie kindly helped me stuff the components preparatory to soldering.

This is where those ten years of electronics manufacturing comes in handy.

Ned Clayton finishing up the soldering of the amplifier PCB's.

Assembling the amplifier heat sink plate and cabinet.