Field Recordings

The Physics Room, Christchurch, NZ

Simon Ingram, Patrick Lundberg, and Raewyn Martyn

February 21 – March 21

Exhibition essay by Rachel O’Neill:

FR 3 Web

FR 2 Web





FR 5 Web

FR 6 Web

From The Physics Room website:

In terms of audio, field recording describes the gathering of sound from outside the recording studio. Originally developed as a documentary research tool, more generally it is a method of collecting information specific to an environment or place. In contemporary art, it can be used as a way to engage new narratives, forms and readings.

Simon Ingram often uses electromagnetic energy as the information input for his work with machines. With customised tools, he records and interprets the amplitude of various radio spectra to generate paintings that are at once representational and abstract. For this exhibition, Ingram has taken audio recordings at sites around the central city of Christchurch, areas of demolition or construction, to create diagrams that track the constant change necessitated by the rebuild.

Raewyn Martyn emphasises the ambient details of a site—in this case the rear gallery space. Seeking out and reconfiguring specific features, patterns of light and signs of use, she has layered paint on the existing surfaces, peeling parts back to transform surface into material. This editing or sampling process was undertaken without natural light, the final work to be revealed only in the last moments of installation. Martyn’s mark making echoes what was already there, at times displacing elements around the room, and shifts temporality by allowing surface and image to be flexible. These adaptations and insertions cause us to question and reflect on our assumed knowledge of a space, the painterly, temporal and spatial ground.

Patrick Lundberg intervenes in the gallery by introducing discrete objects, disturbing in their sheer delicacy. No title, 8 parts (2015) is precisely installed, so while the intricate components demand close observation they simultaneously hold the negative space. They are specifically scattered, arranged in relation to the architecture, deftly negotiating the strong physical presence of the latter. Nodes of activity, points to which a range of broader ideas are collected and condensed, they also imply a record of time—that of their making and of being received.

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