June 7, 2019 – August 31, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, June 7 – 5:30 – 8pm
Curated by Caleb Kelly

Explore the exhibition further with Material Sound at Home



Pia van Gelder – Soft Synth No.1, 2018, Recumbent Circuit, 2016

Materials, Sounds + Black Mountain College brings together contemporary artists who each create an experience that is focused on the making of sound through materials. The artists in Materials, Sounds + Black Mountain College challenge the stability of materials in their practice. Handmade instruments and electronics, recycled electronic components, outmoded technologies, fake technologies, imagined sounds and silences will form a series of dynamic installations that challenge the way we think about materiality in a cumulative sound experience. The work by the Australian artists has a lineage in the experimental practices developed by artists and students at Black Mountain College. Newly commissioned works will be exhibited alongside archival ephemera and works from the BMCM+AC permanent collection that demonstrate experimental and materials-based processes. Originally exhibited at MAMA Albury (Australia), Materials, Sounds + Black Mountain College will further demonstrate the international influence of the College and draw out connections with contemporary experimental and process based arts practices. This exhibition is supported by Australian Arts Council.

Caleb Kelly is a New Zealand born academic and curator working from Sydney Australia. Focusing on sound in the arts, he has most recently published Gallery Sound (Bloomsbury 2017) and previously the influential edited volume SOUND (Whitechappel Gallery and MIT Press, 2011). In 2018 he curated Material Sound at MAMA Albury Australia, an exhibition that will tour Australian regional galleries from 2020 to 2022. Kelly is a senior academic at the UNSW Art & Design Australia. 

Pia van Gelder is a Sydney-based electronic artist and researcher. Her work involves designing and building electronic instruments that are presented in performance and interactive installation contexts. Her works investigate our relationships with technology and energy. Van Gelder was a co-director of Serial Space, Sydney and is a Curator/ Coordinator of Dorkbot, a monthly event for lovers of electricity. Van Gelder has built a substantial performance and exhibition history including the following solo exhibitions: Psychic Synth 2, McClelland Sculpture Park, 2019; Relaxation Circuit, West Space Melbourne, 2015; Psychic Synth, Performance Space, Sydney, 2014; Audio Visionaries, SCA Gallery, Sydney, 2012 and Synchresizer, Tin Sheds, Sydney, 2011. Most recently she was included in Primavera at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney in 2016.  

Vicky Browne is a New Zealand artist based in the Blue Mountains of Australia whose work engages in sound as a core theme. Browne works in a speculative manner, building her own record players, iPods, and radios out of found materials, and it is this handmade quality that reveals a close connection to materials. Her work has been exhibited in numerous spaces nationally and internationally. She has exhibited in group exhibitions including Living in the Ruins of the Twentieth Century, UTS Gallery, Sydney; Sound Full: Sound in Contemporary Australian and New Zealand Art, City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand; WONDER, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Gymea; and It is what it is, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, Windsor. Browne was the winner of the 2013 Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists’ Travel Scholarship Prize and in 2014. Browne is represented by Galerie pompom, Sydney. 

Peter Blamey is a Sydney-based artist, working across performance, video, recording and installation. His work explores the interconnected themes of energies and residues—often through reimagining and recasting our everyday encounters with technologies and the physical world—and also our experiences of energy generation, use and wastage. His work has been exhibited in both artist-run and institutional settingsIn 2014, Peter took part in the Instrument Builders Project, a collaboration between Australian and Indonesian artists, with exhibitions in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. He has also performed extensively over the last nineteen years, including appearances at festivals such as Avantwhatever, What is Music?, Electrofringe, Liquid Architecture, ISEA, and Cementa_13 & 15. In 2018, Peter released the CD Five Fertile Exchanges on UK label Consumer Waste. 

Nathan Thompson is a New Zealand artist based in Wollongong Australia who works across sound, sculpture and drawing. He creates music and audio installations that use audio feedback to make analogous connections to the self-organising properties of environmental systems. He has exhibited in numerous artist-run spaces including The Physics Room (NZ), Firstdraft (Australia), Audio Foundation (NZ) and public galleries in New Zealand and Australia. He has been invited to perform at festivals both locally and internationally including Space and Place (Stockholm)Lines of Flight (Dunedin, NZ) and ISEA (Singapore). Musically he performs solo under the name Expansion Bay and is a founding member of internationally recognized experimental music ensembles Sandoz Lab Technicians and Eye who have released music on a variety of international labels including Corpus Hermeticum (NZ), Last Visible Dog (USA), and Siltbreeze (USA).

Cade Hollomon-Cook is the Director of the Design Studio at East Fork, an Asheville-based manufacturer of ceramic dinnerware. A former apprentice of East Fork’s Alex Matisse and John Vigeland, Hollomon-Cook draws from a lineage of potters that can be traced back to Bernard Leach (BMC ceramics instructor, 1952.) Through a collaborative installation in this exhibition, Hollomon-Cook + East Fork will bring local traditions and the Black Mountain College legacy into conversation with contemporary sound artist Jenn Grossman.

Josh Copus is a community-centric potter based in Marshall, NC. Through countless hours of working with potters in the Asheville area and throughout the nation, Copus has developed a personally significant approach to making pottery that values the importance of local materials. Josh’s work references historical forms and processes while remaining relevant to the contemporary art world. Through his collaboration with sound artist Jenn Grossman, Copus will further expand the possibilities of clay as a material and practice.

Jenn Grossman is an experimental musician/sound installation/experiential media artist living and working in NYC. Lingering somewhere between philosophical, psychological, and artistic approaches to exploring sound and light, she is interested in ways that they heighten emotional, social, and sensory awareness, cause materials to transcend themselves and engage us in active modes of perception from the art gallery to the street.

Related Programs:

Friday + Saturday, June 7 + 8 – 1pm – Playing with Sound’ Kids Workshop with Vicky Browne 

Saturday, June 8, 2:30pm – Gallery talk by exhibition curator Caleb Kelly 

Saturday, June 8, 7-10pm – Materials, Sounds, and Black Mountain College Opening Weekend Performances  

Tuesdays, June 18 – August 6 from 1-3pm – Drawing Workshop with Regi Weile

Saturday, June 22 – 7pm – FILMS@BMCM+AC: Reclamations of Blackness 

Friday, June 28 4-5:30pm – Workshop / 8pm – Performance – Yowana Sari Gamelan ensemble (Presented in collaboration with Asheville Percussion Festival)

Wednesday, July 10 – 12-1pm – PERSPECTIVES Lunchtime Conversations @ BMCM+AC: Amanda Hollomon-Cook + Josh Copus

Thursday, July 18 – 7pm – Cage Shuffle

Friday, August 2 – 7pm – John Cage’s ‘Sonatas and Interludes for solo prepared piano’

Thursday, August 8 – 7pm – Poetry Reading with Jeffery Beam 

Wednesday, August 14 – 12-1pm – PERSPECTIVES Lunchtime Conversations @ BMCM+AC: Eva Bares

Saturday, August 24 – 7pm – Interpretations of Absurdity – Okapi and Edwin Salas / Flyer in a Dark Chamber