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CORALORGAN (installation)

  • THEMUSEUM 10 King St W Kitchener, ON, N2G 1A3 Canada (map)
Rigging CoralOrgan at THEMUSEUM

Opening June 5th, THEMUSEUM, 10 King St W, Kitchener, ON

CORALORGAN by Max Streicher and Garnet Willis

Imagine an everyday organ.
Then turn it inside out, upside down and filled with sensors and solenoids. A huge air-filled sculpture with organ pipes sticking out like a porcupine creating an incredible visual and sound experience.

Open Ears and THEMUSEUM present TREEORGAN

Wednesday ..................10am - 9pm

Thursday ......................10am - 4pm

Friday ...........................10am - 4pm

Saturday .......................10am - 5pm

Sunday ........................10am - 5pm

Meet the artists and learn about the work at THESKINNY, June 7th at 230 pm.

The CoralOrgan (formerly TreeOrgan) was a collaboration between Max Streicher and Garnet Willis in 2012. Rather than simply adding speakers, the artists chose to try to make the air in piece power the sound organically. It quickly became apparent that the traditional pipe organ offered the most suitable instrumental technology to draw upon. The piece has 5 separate inflatable bodies with blowers inside them supplying air to organ pipes that then let that air back out again – controlled by solenoid valves cued by a computer. Each opening valve creates a leak and escaping air energizes pipe resonance, creating sound. The entire piece is then playable via midi keyboard. For previous installs, the Goldberg Variations by Bach were being played back via midi sequencer – having been previously played into the system by Garnet and edited to play over a range of Tempi. However the musical choice was discretionary, and music of any style could be utilized (or composed) changing the aesthetic experience of the piece.

Max Streicher—Artist Statement

Inflatables have had an important place in my work since 1989. In most of these sculptures and installations I have used industrial fans and simple valve mechanisms to animate sewn forms with lifelike gestures. Most of these works have been made of lightweight and papery fabrics such as Tyvek or nylon spinnaker. The weightlessness of these materials allows them to respond with surprising subtlety to the action of air within and around them.

Generally inflatables are an expression of naive optimism. In an art context they signal popular culture, anti-art and irony. I play with and against these expectations. The movement of air within my forms recalls our own sensation of breath—of breathlessness, of holding our breath, etc. My work exists in moments of kinesthesia, when the movement of air within a form causes something to stir within the physical being of the viewer. This response is to more than just the obvious action of inflation and the robust occupation of space. What I feel is even more moving is the recognition of deflation, shrinking, vulnerability, silence and dying. My choice of extremely light and papery materials enhances this sense of absence and transience, of the nearly not there at all. Thus, the awakening comes more in our awareness of the tenuousness and fleeting nature of our existence. My work with the inflatable medium is about moving the viewer from a playful and ironic headspace toward a physical connection to his or her most vital forces.

Max Streicher is a sculptor and installation artist from Alberta, now residing in Toronto. Since 1989 he has worked extensively with inflatable technology in kinetic sculptures and installation works. He has shown widely across Canada in solo exhibitions in museums such as The Art Gallery of Ontario, Edmonton Art Gallery and the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon. He has completed several international site-related projects in such places as Taichung, Taiwan, Erfurt, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic. His inflatable works are in the collections of museums such as the ESSL Museum, Vienna, The Hara Museum, Tokyo and Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton. He was a founding member of the Nethermind collective of artists who organized four large exhibitions in alternative spaces in Toronto between 1991 and 1995.

Garnet Willis is a Canadian composer, sculptor, audio-engineer, and instrument builder. He combines his disparate skills as artist, wood and metal - worker, engineer, designer and electronics geek to produce multivariate artworks – all of which orbit around sound in some form or other. He has written/built many commissioned works including the “flux” series of self-playing electromagnetic sound sculptures. He has garnered prestigious international awards for his compositions and has had his work exhibited and performed in the USA, UK, France, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Colombia.