Empty Gallery is pleased to present Catchy, LA-based installation artist Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon’s first solo exhibition in East Asia. Gordon’s practice employs sound diffused into the exhibition space through hyper-directional speakers, which she then manipulates through precise placement of sculptures composed of various acoustic materials. This interaction between sound, sculpture and architecture creates complex acoustic environments which shift according to the position and orientation of the viewer - underlining the embodied nature of aural perception as well as the complex geometry of sound transmission. Gordon’s formal concerns synthesize an inspired mixture of influences, bringing together a Minimalist concern with three-dimensional space and embodied perception reminiscent of Robert Morris with the psychoacoustic investigations of experimental composers such as Alvin Lucier and Maryanne Amacher.
Although in the past Gordon’s installations have investigated the sonic infrastructure of concert stadiums and military testing sites, for Catchy she tackles a site of cultural production fraught with meaning for contemporary subjectivity: the recording studio. At once hermetic and clinical, the studio’s very existence is premised on the precise separation of signals, functions, and individuals into discrete, manipulable, and repeatable units - a seemingly paradigmatic example of the technological dominance of the human. However, the paradox of “the studio” is that it is simultaneously the expressive site of our most intimate subjectivity, our most human fears and desires, as they are articulated through popular music; Catchy aims to unpack and explore this complex relationship.
In a first for the artist, Gordon has composed a pop song in Los Angeles, in collaboration with a group of young industry professionals. This song is diffused throughout Empty Gallery’s two floors by a multi-channel speaker system which Gordon has used to fragment the composition into its component parts - localizing different elements of the song in specific regions of the space. This soundscape is further sculpted and filtered through Gordon’s physical interventions in the gallery, which take the form of a maze of sound-absorbing pneumatic structures on the first floor and a series of hybrid sound blanket-tapestries on the lower floor. The space of the gallery thus becomes an inversion of the recording studio, in which the seamless surface of pop production is exploded into its component parts in a deconstruction which is at once critical and playful.
Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon’s hybrid practice combines work in sound installation, sculpture, and performance with the aim of reconfiguring the traditional hierarchies between audience, performer, and architecture. Her sculptural and sonic systems often reference complex sonic histories embedded into the technological infrastructure of architecture, music, communications technologies and military research. By investigating the networks of institutional and technological power which traverse our embodied perception of sound, she hopes to reveal the myriad ways in which our acoustic experience is subject to control and suggest alternative modes of engagement with the sonic world.
Gordon has had recent solo shows at The Lab (2016), Western Front (2016), Et Al Etc (2016) and The Yerba Buena Center For The Arts (2014), Eli Ridgeway Gallery (2012) and Queens Nails Projects (2009) among others. She was included in the VAC Foundation’s Geometry of Now (2017) exhibition in Moscow and will also participate in SFMoMA’s upcoming sound art survey Soundtracks (2017). Presentations of her work have also been staged at LAXArt, EMPAC, Mills College, and other venues. Gordon’s work is represented in the collections of the VAC foundation, SFMoMA, Berkeley Art Museum and others.