Elevator Music 1
Investigations in Experimental Sound: Robin Rimbaud, a.k.a. Scanner

Responding to the space and function of the elevator, artist Robin Rimbaud mixes urban field recordings of airborne bats to create Ricochet – Seeing in the Dark. Far exceeding the frequencies detected by the human ear, a bat emits ultrasonic signals as a means of orientation in its environment – a process termed echolocation. Once produced, the signals bounce off surrounding objects and return to the bat’s extremely sensitive ears, which detect subtle changes in the sonic waves to develop an audio “image” of the nearby terrain. To accommodate the comparatively handicapped human ear, Rimbaud decelerates these calls and re-mixes the resulting tones for this installation. The reflected noises mirror the elevator’s rebounds between floors, while pointing to the often-unnoticed interaction between sound and the everyday architectures we occupy.

Rimbaud is hardly a novice at collecting the un-heard. In the early 1990s, equipped with a portable radio scanner, the London-based artist intercepted and recorded the inaudible energy waves blipping about the cityscape, most of which were cellular phone conversations.

This anonymous voyeurism, which he incorporated into numerous installations and CD projects, earned him the alias Scanner – a self-proclaimed packrat of sonic debris. Fascinated by the relation of sound and space, Rimbaud has developed artworks for a variety of locations including a movie theater, a public bus, the underside of a bridge, and a hospital morgue. Regarding his practice, Rimbaud explains, “To me art is a process, not as an objectified ‘thing’ that references plastic arts, painting, music, photography, and the relationship between art forms is so flexible that I would almost follow Joseph Beuy’s conception of any public activity or private action as a form of sculpture, so we are in the end all artists.”
Exhibition Name
Elevator Music 1
Investigations in Experimental Sound: Robin Rimbaud, a.k.a. Scanner
Exhibition Type
Solo Exhibitions
Elevator Music Series
Jan 24, 2004 - Jun 6, 2004
Elevator Music 1 is organized by Tang Curator Gretchen Wagner.
Robin Rimbaud
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