Alex Grunenfelder, logo for Audio Migration [Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey BC, Apr 14-Aug 19]
Open Sound is an exhibition program developed at the Surrey Art Gallery in 2008 to support the production and presentation of audio art forms. The current exhibition, Audio Migration, is part of a year-long exhibition guest-curated by Ross Birdwise and presents the work of three artists: Kristen Roos, Alex Grunenfelder and Christina Kubisch. With the theme On Air, Underground: Making the Inaudible Audible, each artwork gives expression to voiceless and sometimes intangible things.
Using the enclosed but open-air courtyard at the gallery, Vancouver artist Alex Grunenfelders site-specific outdoor sound installation Audio Migration weaves together field recordings of local birds and people talking in a slowly changing soundscape.
Organized in three movements, the piece is a four-channel audio installation approximately 10 minutes long. The first part focuses on local bird sounds while the second part introduces human voices imitating birdsongs and whistles. In the third section, fragmented bits of foreign language, birdcalls, human gibberish, coughs and grunts, electronic alarm noises and other sounds are combined in ways that destabilize and surprise the listener.
Alex Grunenfelder studied philosophy at McGill University and fine art at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. He is a graphic designer with a keen interest in science and technology. Grunenfelder is currently a director of Open Green Building Society, owner of Alex Grunenfelder Graphic Design, and co-founder and director of Vancouver Design Nerds Society.