Céleste Boursier-Mougenot: untitled + index :: until November 5, 2011 :: EMPAC, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY.
Two sound installations untitled (series #3) and index (v.4) by French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot create a special sonic atmosphere in EMPAC’s lobby spaces. The first involves floating bowls and glasses in several pools of moving water. As these objects touch, the space is filled with their fleeting, floating music.
The other sounds moving through the lobby come from two computer-played pianos. The music is an articulation of EMPAC staff’s typing activity. Software written by the artist maps linguistic properties to musical properties, translating letters, phrases, and punctuation into aspects of musical language like pitch, dynamics, repetitions, and chords.
Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s work merges the realms of the musical and the visual, mining unexpected sources for their musical potential and creating situations or devices in which sonic events turn into visual material or visual objects and events get transposed sonically.
A native of Nice, France, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot was born in 1961. He lives and works in Sète, France. His works has been exhibited worldwide and are part of major public and private collections, including Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Museum of Old and New Art, Australia; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; and the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris.