Nichole Speciale is an artist working two-dimensionally, considering the plane as a closed system in which a drawn, painted, or graphic image can reflect and respond only to itself. Her practice also revolves around problematizing the illusory canvas surface of a painting, pushing painting into the object realm. She is a recent graduate of the MFA program at UCSD. Curt D. Miller is a musician specializing in the performance of new music on the clarinet in his ABD in the DMA program in the music department at UCSD. In addition to this repertoire, he has an interest in electronic music tools for both performance and installation.
Together, we embed sound technologies into canvas or paper to extend the image on the wall into the viewers’ space using sound and to utilize the inherently visual qualities of sound production equipment as an art making material. Our collaboration then consists of artists from two different sensory media urging their materials to work within the other’s framework. The resulting pieces occupy a hybrid space between drawing, sound, sculpture, and performance. When sound is imbedded into visual forms it acts as sculpture in its literal presence in the space. When the viewer becomes aware of the sound they will tend to investigate it spatially, getting closer or farther from its source to understand it, while still positioning themselves to view the image.
By imbuing the painting with durational material, it shifts from passive to performative. Instead of an image that can be viewed immediately as a whole, the sound painting acts as a performer: a present body that delivers a time-based work to the also present audience. It is through this blending of still imagery and durational sound that the works can overcome the limits of their own medium. However, it can be challenging to create a meaningful whole out of the disparate elements of such pieces.