"Event, Stream, Object" is a sound installation by German artist Florian Hecker (born in 1975, he currently lives in Vienna), produced by MMK with funds from the MMK's partners, that has now been acquired for the museum's collection.
Presented in the current exhibition "Radical Conceptual" (February 19 - August 22, 2010), the work consists of a loudspeaker system suspended from the ceiling used to convey a computer-generated, eight-channel sound composition. Each individual loudspeaker plays a sequence of sounds allocated to it and, in itself complex, become a part of the acoustic whole with its differing frequencies and volumes.
"Florian Hecker is one of the most innovative artists of the present, because in his work, he combines the areas of fine art, music and performance in order to break down the barriers between them and open up new forms of expression and means of perception in space and time," comments Dr. Susanne Gaensheimer, Director of MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst.
Over the last few months, the artist has used a special kind of software to elaborate synthetic sounds for the exhibition space at MMK. Here, the sounds offer museum visitors an unusual kind of experience - a space/sound experience. The further they progress into the installation, the more intense their constantly changing perceptions of space, the body and themselves become.
The bent reflectors in front of the loudspeakers illustrate the way that the sounds rebound and are diverted, thus heightening the complexity of the sound installation. "The work dramatizes an uncoupling of sound sources in space and the locations from which we perceive them to come. Such an active process of hearing underscores the impossibility of uniformly describing what we hear, when, where and by whom it is heard," explains Florian Hecker, talking about his installation at MMK. The artist is equally interested in the history of concept art and in specific developments in the composition of post-War modern art, electro-acoustic music and non-musical disciplines. In "Event, Stream, Object" he is particularly concerned with Diana Deutsch's Erkenntnisse der musikalischen Psychologie, the change of perspective associated with processing signals developed by Dennis Gábo and Albert Bregman's psycho-acoustic research.
Attempts to describe Hecker's acoustic work quickly highlight to what extent our language is based on visually coded formulations. The nature of his installation emphasizes an active and subjective experience, since the piece presents itself differently to every hearer, depending on his position in the room. Moreover, each time the sound installation is played is unique, because there is something known as a stochastic scheme built into the spatial composition that slightly various the sound signals, thus repeatedly making them sound surprising and unpredictably different.