semigloss. Magazine

issue #6 SOUND

April 16th - May 16th, 2016

Sound art is experiencing a moment of sorts in contemporary art, with exhibitions emerging internationally in the past several years, such as Soundings: A Contemporary Score at MoMA, RPM: Sound Art China in Shanghai, and Word.Sound.Power at the Tate Modern in London. Sound artist and theorist Brandon LaBelle formulates an explanation of sound art as “a practice that harnesses, describes, analyses, performs, and interrogates the condition of sound and the process by which it operates.” Though one can point to early applications of sound-as-medium in the Dadaist “sound poems” of Hugo Ball (at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich) and Kurt Schwitters, and in the practice and performance of Fluxus artists like Charlotte Moorman, Nam Jun Paik, and George Maciunas, the origins, lineage, and definition of sound art are not at all concrete. However, as Suzanne Delehanty notes in her essay “Soundings”, when sound first entered the fray of creative production and exhibition, it marked a new beginning for artistic practice. “In the beginning,” she argues, “was the spoken word, ambient sound, noise, music and silence; all allowed artists to transform the visual arts into a new and third realm… and had become both the subject and the object of art.”

semigloss. is a print release contemporary art publication that hosted the release of their "SOUND" issue accompanied by an installation through which visitors could experience the works contained on the record in real time. semigloss. SOUND explored sonic experiences through performance, spoken word, and music discussed within the context of contemporary art. The installation consisted of 10 sonic stations fitted with MP3 speaker/players, on which are loaded a single track/piece from the record. Visitors are invited to explore and be guided through the sonically and visually linked exhibition that will take over the gallery space. 


It is often said that the most impactful artwork, that which is most potently recalled, generates more questions than it does answers. So, as you familiarize yourself with this, the 6th issue of semigloss., you might be asking why a print magazine would decide to publish an issue on sound art—one that not only features writing about sound art, but also sound in its direct form. It has always been their mission to continually question their publication’s formal and conceptual boundaries. And what better way to subvert the limitations of a visual art magazine than by placing its experiential departure point within an entirely different sensory arena? As challenging and time-consuming as this issue has been to produce, they are confident that the result is at once compelling, gorgeous, and indicative of this publication’s gravitation towards what sound art represents within the canon of contemporary art practice.

Artists featured in semigloss. Magazine Issue #6 SOUND:

Morehshin Allahyari
Bradly Brown
Baumgartner Nino
Jeff Gibbons
Sally Glass
Kenneth Goldsmith
Peter Lucas
Shelby David Meier
Micah Why
Jim Nolan
Carolyn Sortor
Sharon Turner