sound exhibition and performance of themes from Vinculum, an ongoing project
2013 | variable content, dimensions, and duration for each iteration

Installation view of A Vinculum Variation at Tritriangle (Chicago)

Canadian sound/radio artist Anna Friz invited Coppice to present a sound work in conversation with her recent installation Nocturne – “an intimate atmosphere of transmission inside a multi-channel array of radio receivers and micro-watt transmitters, suspended and dispersed throughout the space”.

The response to this invitation resulted in A Vinculum Variation – a sound presentation expanding the performed-installation practice of Coppice, to invite conversation with adjacent sonic work.

The multi-channel installation and performance accommodate motifs and materials from Vinculum, Coppice’s sonic artifact archive and ongoing compositional project since 2010. Technically, the work relies on a custom-built inductive mixing table, formerly utilized in Copse [2010]. Vinculum sounds are played back through small speakers resting at different locations on the table’s surface, which redistributes the sounds onto eight speakers dispersed throughout the installation space.  The shifting sound blanket is elaborated in performance by the reorientation of the speakers on the table, subtle imaging variations, and chordal passages performed live on accordion.

For its second iteration at Mana Contemporary, six speakers were placed inside galvanized steel sculptures that would act as filters and resonators. The performance also included The Apiary.

Some of the following photographs partly show Anna Friz’s suspending radio installation at the first iteration of the piece.

Exhibitions and events

  • September 22, 2013, noon and 2 PMMana Contemporary; Chicago, IL – High Concept Laboratories showcase at the opening celebration of Mana Contemporary
  • May 25, 2013, 6-11 PM – Tritriangle; Chicago, IL – presented in conversation with Nocturne, a sound installation by Anna Friz

Side effects

For the installation and performance at Tritriangle, Chicago-based duo Coppice (Noé Cuéllar and Joseph Kramer) created a listening experience that compelled the listener to navigate and inhabit the space of the gallery in a fluid way. Before the performances, the audience could walk freely around the space and stop to observe what was emitting from the various speakers lining the room. During the performance, the audience stilled and the artists and the audio material activated. Cuéllar, playing the accordion and free reeds, moved his own body around and through the space, while Kramer used two custom-built apparatuses: his customized inductive mixing table and customized cassette tape player. Kramer, kneeling on the floor, using this table, which “redistributes the sounds of the Vinculum archive as they are played back through small speakers resting at different locations on its surface,” changes the location from where sounds poured. The cassette tape instrument Kramer designed and created is able to “make a record of the sonic space that also reproduces the recording from moments ago while simultaneously recapturing its own output.”

These devices together create space and time that shift and refuse to remain static or linear. The changes in the part of the room that contained the raw recordings from the Vinculum archive created a constantly changing environment of breathing; audio materials from their ongoing-archive emerged in the space and surrounded the audience with breath. Cuéllar, changing positions throughout the space of the installation, used the accordion’s keys and bellows to breathe sounds throughout the room. Coppice’s contribution to the installation as a whole grounded the audience and the space itself creating a material terrain the viewer could navigate and explore.

–Meredith Kooi, Bad at Sports {2013}