Robert Gerard Pietrusko: Six Microphones

  • Robert Gerard Pietrusko: Six Microphones (Photo: Carl Koepcke; Arts @ 29 Garden, Harvard University, 2013)


Apr 8 – 19, 2015
Level 1

Six Microphones is a piece composed entirely of audio feedback that explores the mutually-constitutive relationship between sound, space, and the body. Departing from the simplest and most legible diagram of audio feedback—a microphone pointed at a loudspeaker—Six Microphones transforms the gallery from a space in which sound simply propagates, to the medium required to bring sound into being; it becomes the interior of a complex oscillator whose sonic textures are dependent on the gallery's geometry and materiality. Additionally, the location of listeners in the space subtly alters this interior; thus, being present to listen shapes the timbres to be heard.

While not site-specific, Six Microphones is fully site-determined. All tones and modulations produced during its performance emerge from the space itself and are dependent on the interaction of three elements: (1) the composition as it unfolds in time, implemented as a changing combination of microphone amplitudes (2) the particular geometry and materiality of the space in which it is sited, and (3) the physical presence of listeners within this space. Though the structure of the composition remains the same from one performance to the next, the resultant piece is contingent on the complex interaction of these three elements and cannot be anticipated beforehand.

Robert Gerard Pietrusko

Robert Gerard Pietrusko is a designer and composer whose work explores the technologies of spatial measurement-classification-representation and their interaction with techniques of the body. He has exhibited internationally in a variety of museums and galleries including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA),  Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris, and the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design.

The Interstitial

Robert Gerard Pietrusko: Six Microphones is part of The Interstitial, a new CCVA program that takes advantage of the time and physical space between exhibitions. The Interstitial hosts performances, installations and other time-based events that transpire over the course of an evening or several days.