Aural Studies
(2021)

Mimetic Aural Study
Materials: Four-colour print on blueback poster paper.
Dimensions: L 350 x W 1600cm.

Reflective Aural Study
Materials: Vegetable dye on cotton.
Dimensions: L 350 x W 1600cm.

Resuscitated Aural Study
Materials: Dye sub print on polyester.
Dimensions: L 300 x W 1600cm.

Aural Studies is an installation exploring the future of colour, comprising a curtain, an awning and a billboard. These works have been made with an invented technology that mimics cephalopods’ skin colour production. They draw from non-human culture and technology as a way to offering another worldview, posing questions of presence versus representation in image-making. 

The images produced are maps, or studies, that attempt to understand (and mimic) how cephalopods perceive landscape, how their skin feels and thinks their surrounding, in a way that allows them to become part of the context they are in (becoming part of a rock, a coral, a cave, a colour, a texture). Colours are produced as opposed to reproduced – they result from different processes of making that include those that make them, and are therefore more akin to emotional/chemical states than to systems. 

As part of the work of animating these pieces -through movement, through light, through sound- the curtain is automated to open and close following a script and reveals different patterns depending on light intensity. The installation features works by Anna Barham, Revital Cohen and Tuur van Balen, Isa Genzken, Agnieszka Kurant, Delphine Reist, Ben Rivers, Cauleen Smith and specimens from Nottingham City Museums, as well as a soundtrack by Hannah Catherine Jones made for the colour formations. Curtain image preparation by James Langdon (Neurovague).

See a tour of the installation here.
See E-flux announcement here.

Aural Studies was commissioned by Nottingham Contemporary, as part of Our Silver City, 2094.

Aural Studies, exhibition view, Nottingham Contemporary. Photograph by Stuart Whipps.
Aural Studies, exhibition view, Nottingham Contemporary. Photograph by Stuart Whipps.
Mimetic Aural Study, detail, Nottingham Contemporary. Photograph by Stuart Whipps.
Resuscitated Aural Study, detail, Nottingham Contemporary. Photograph by Stuart Whipps.
Aural Studies, exhibition view, Nottingham Contemporary. Photograph by Stuart Whipps.
Aural Studies, exhibition view, Nottingham Contemporary. Photograph by Stuart Whipps.
Aural Studies, exhibition view, Nottingham Contemporary. Photograph by Stuart Whipps.
Mimetic Aural Study, detail, Nottingham Contemporary. Photograph by Stuart Whipps.
Resuscitated Aural Study, detail, Nottingham Contemporary. Photograph by Stuart Whipps.
Reflective Aural Study, detail, Nottingham Contemporary. Photograph by Stuart Whipps.
Resuscitated Aural Study, detail, Nottingham Contemporary. Photograph by Stuart Whipps.
Aural Studies, exhibition view, Nottingham Contemporary. Photograph by Stuart Whipps.
Resuscitated Aural Study, detail, Nottingham Contemporary. Photograph by Stuart Whipps.
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