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Haptic Room Studies | Adi Hollander

6 April – 25 May 2024

A river and a dialogue are central to two installations from the Haptic Room Studies Adi Hollander presents at the gallery. Haptic Room Study #4 questions tactile spatialization: between hearing and active listening, and comprises an interpretation of the sound composition A Sound Map of the Housatonic River of composer Annea Lockwood. The third installation of the Haptic Room Studies evolves around a dialogue visitors can engage in and feel.

At the beginning of 2020, shortly after the opening of the gallery, visual artist Adi Hollander presented The Body Imitates the Landscape, a Frame,  an interactive art work that underlines the materiality of sound. How the body and senses are inseparable from the experience of sound and music, for the hearing and non-hearing, and which role the environment plays in this, is the foundation for the artistic questions that Adi Hollander raises since 2015 and materialises in installations that make the visitor actively participate. 

Her ongoing research at the cutting edge of art and technology have led to What do I hear? (2021) and Haptic Room Studies (2022-2024), research projects initiated by Hollander for which she collaborates with artists and scientists. They research and create haptic environments by embedding technological tools for sensory translation in the architecture of spaces where art is presented, making the works accessible to sensory-diverse audiences. These technological tools – a series of prototypes – were developed during What do I hear?. With the Haptic Room Studies these prototypes became embedded in spatial installations.

Haptic Room Study #4:  Questions about Tactile Spatialization: Between Hearing and Active Listening 

Imagine hiking up a mountain, passing through rocks and trees until you reach a viewpoint. As you sit down, almost breathless, you take in the beauty around you – the vast blue sky above, the flowing river below, and the lush greenery surrounding you, accompanied by the vibrant colors and scents of spring. While others might continue to describe their experience made up of layers of sound – the birds, the water, the crickets, the leaves. The attention of artist Adi Hollander however, will be given to the absence of “noise.” The translation and filling of this gap between silence and noise, interwoven in many layers of form, texture, color, and space, became the driving force behind this research for Haptic Room Study #4

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For this installation, Hollander chose A Sound Map of the Housatonic River, a composition by the artist Annea Lockwood. What intrigued and challenged her about this piece, comprising four channels, is its ability to craft an immersive sense of place and time. It weaves a linear narrative, drawing from the concept of traversing (map) along, in, and over the river.

“In general, I experience sound so strongly in and through my body that it brings me a real visceral sense of connection to whatever I am listening to, which is probably true for many of us. That, to me, is a powerful, embodied, and ofter an unconscious reminder that I am not separate from the world around me.” (Annea Lockwood)

Concept, design and construction installation: Adi Hollander | sound engineer: Mathieu Debit | wood construction installation: Giorgos Gripeos | sound system and software design: Andreas Tegnander | tactile units: Adi Hollander, Ildikó Horváth, & Andreas Tegnander, and Sungeun Lee | graphic design: Anni Ruffin | thanks to: Andreas Tegnander, Claudio F. Baroni, Giorgos Gripeos, Ildikó Horváth, Sungeun Lee. Haptic Room Study #4 was commioned by the Echonance festival.

Haptic Room Study #3: Conversation Piece

The third installation of the Haptic Room Studies is designed as a space for two people to have dialogue: each person can feel their own voice and the voice of the other through haptics. A person’s voice carrés meaning in its tone, rhythm, and melody, as well as their choice of words. Through pitch manipulation and filtering, the accoustics of the vocal sounds are reduced and translated into frequencies we can perceive through touch. This room study is part of our research in the multi-sensory experience of the human voice and how to create a space for an intimate meeting between body and voice.

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Artists: Adi Hollander, Andreas Tegnander, Sungeun Lee. Supported by the Embassy of Inclusive Society.

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