Left: Marian Zazeela, Abstract #1 from Quadrilateral Phase Angle Traversals, 2003, copyright © Marian Zazeela 2018.
Right: Jung Hee Choi, Environmental Composition 2017 #1, 2017, copyright © Jung Hee Choi 2017.
La Monte Young Marian Zazeela Jung Hee Choi
Sound and Light Environment
Extended Exhibition at MELA Foundation
Opening: November 1, 2018, 6 pm
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 2pm-midnight
275 Church Street, 3rd Floor, New York
T 917 972 3674
MELA Foundation presents a collaborative Sound and Light Environment by La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and Jung Hee Choi, an extended exhibition at Dream House, 275 Church Street, 3rd Floor. The environment is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 2 PM to midnight. Admission is $10.00. This long-term exhibition will open Thursday, November 1 at 6 pm, 2018 and continue for the season.
In the current environment we are presenting the new configuration of the Young and Choi collaborative sound environment within the ongoing Zazeela and Choi site-specific light environment. In the light environment Zazeela presents three works: Abstract #1 from Quadrilateral Phase Angle Traversals, Ruine Window 1992 from Still Light and Dream House Variation I. Together with Zazeela, Choi presents two works: Environmental Composition 2017 #1 and Color (CNN), live realization.
Conceived for the Dia 15 VI 13 545 West 22 Street Dream House in 2015, this unique sound installation presents the La Monte Young The Base 9:7:4 Symmetry in Prime Time When Centered above and below The Lowest Term Primes in The Range 288 to 224 with The Addition of 279 and 261 in Which The Half of The Symmetric Division Mapped above and Including 288 Consists of The Powers of 2 Multiplied by The Primes within The Ranges of 144 to 128, 72 to 64 and 36 to 32 Which Are Symmetrical to Those Primes in Lowest Terms in The Half of The Symmetric Division Mapped below and Including 224 within The Ranges 126 to 112, 63 to 56 and 31.5 to 28 with The Addition of 119 and the Jung Hee Choi TONECYCLE BASE 30 HZ, 2:3:7, The Linear Superposition Of 108 Sine Wave Frequencies Set In Ratios Based On The Harmonics 2, 3 And 7 Imperceptibly Ascending Toward Fixed Frequencies And Then Descending Toward The Starting Frequencies, Infinitely Revolving As In Circles, In Parallel And Various Rates Of Similar Motion To Create Continuous Slow Phase Shift With Long Beat Cycles sound environments in simultaneity. We first heard this possibility at our installation in Berlin in 2012 at the Vila Elizabeth where the Young sound environment was the audio centerpiece of the second floor Dream House and the Choi sound environment was presented in the first floor entrance lobby. Although the two sound environments had substantial distance between them it was still possible to hear harmonious interrelationships of the frequencies in acoustically transitional locations.
Based on the impression of the Berlin environment simultaneity Young decided that it would be possible to perform the two sound environments as a simultaneity in close proximity. Young likes to compare this simultaneity with the Charles Ives concept of having two marching bands playing music coming from opposite directions toward the center of the town.
In her writing, Choi pointed out the opposite nature of the two sound environments. Choi writes, “Young’s sound environment in the Dream House contains complex intervallic ratios of continuous sine waves that would theoretically sound eternally without any aspirations of melody or rhythm. The long sustained tones are locked and remain constant projecting eternal stasis. However, any smallest and unavoidable action of the listener such as breathing or blinking of the eye, changes the perception of the tones. With the human body the audience cannot ever experience the constant nature of the work. In contrast, the sine wave frequencies in my sound environment, Tonecycle Base 30 Hz, 2:3:7 are constantly revolving, and never stand on any one place long enough to satisfy the definition of a traditional musical pitch. The motion of the tones is extremely slow and therefore, the sense of the pitch shift is practically imperceptible. However, because the tones are moving in constant speed toward the same direction and the relationship of corresponding frequencies remains relativistically invariant, it creates the aural illusion that the frequencies of tones remain unchanged. Rather, the interactions of the moving sine waves create the gradual development of distinctive melodic and rhythmic patterns over time as the result of the acoustical phenomenon of phase interference.”
By presenting Choi’s imperceptibly and yet continuously moving frequencies together with Young’s fixed frequency constant, it becomes possible to perceive the movement of Choi’s frequencies, demonstrating yet again the most profound frequency relationships are best achieved against a fixed frequency constant, that is, a drone frequency.
The Zazeela and Choi’s site-specific light environment will continue to be presented. With the American premiere of Marian Zazeela Abstract #1 from Quadrilateral Phase Angle Traversals, Zazeela wrote, “Much of my work in light and calligraphy has been grounded in concepts of structural symmetry. Quadrilateral Phase Angle Traversals is based on the Word Portraits series of drawings and neon sculptures in which I have presented names, words or ideas drawn with their bilaterally symmetrical, retrograde and mirror-inverted images, so that the abstract form of the written word may be viewed independently from its meaning. This allows the visual content of the work to be considered both apart from, and along with, the significance of the word. In Abstract #1 from Quadrilateral Phase Angle Traversals, I turned this concept inside-out and created a pattern that is derived from and evocative of letter forms, but which does not generate known words. The projection becomes a mandala-like visual focus interweaving through time.”
Choi has presented series of environmental compositions with video, evolving light-point patterns, drawings, incense, performance and sound involving the concept of “Manifest Unmanifest.” Her synthesis of expression in these series collectively creates an intersubjective space as a unified continuum and emphasizes the totality of sense perceptions as a single unit to create a state of immersion. The New York Times wrote about Choi’s multimedia installation Ahata Anahata, Manifest Unmanifest IX, ”If you give in to it while watching Ms. Choi’s hallucinatory screen, you may find yourself in an altered state of consciousness, on the verge of some ineffable, transcendental revelation.” (August 28, 2015)
The Village Voice listed the MELA Church Street Dream House as the Best Art Installation in New York 2014, “A charge for the mind as much as for the eye and ear, the Dream House feels like a gift to our beleaguered city, where headspace is the most precious real estate of all.”