Sound in IB Art
Sound Art in IB Visual Arts?
At the moment, sound elements in work submitted for The Exhibition are not considered as part of the visual arts assessment. Examiners are instructed to "turn off sound" when listening to videos clips. This is because many students simply upload a song or find something online that they use as a soundtrack, which is not the same thing as creating an artistic audio element themselves.
Maybe if there is greater awareness around the role of Sound in Contemporary Art practice and students begin to experiment more creatively with these possibilities, then we will see sound recognized in the assessment of student work. This is a point of discussion that has yet to be resolved.
Example of an IB student using sound in her exhibition
Medium: Ceramic, Acrylic paint, i pod with recorded static sound
Size: 5x5 cm each
This series of small ceramic ears is made with a mold and splattered with paint to represent a visual equivilent of tinnitus. Behind one ear is hidden a tiny ipod with headphones that transmits a high constant ringing tone that can be uncomfortable to listen to.
Note: I am not recommending that IB Art students engage in making sound installations for their final assessments but I am hoping that as we begin to consider it as an art making form, it may be eventually added to the Art Making Forms Table .
And, if we look at whats happening in higher education....
It is now possibile to study for an interdisciplinary fine arts degree in Sound Art in many art colleges and universities.
For example, Sound Art at Colombia University
"Sound Art students will pursue creative work in a variety of genres and focus on the integration of sound with other media. Sounds Arts is a studio-based program in conjunction with the Visual Arts Program. As such, it gives the students the freedom to explore work in sculpture, video, wood as well as computer programming, performance and conceptual strategies. First-year students are assigned a small studio, and second-year students receive a large studio."
Discover more about Sound Art
Art which uses sound both as its medium (what it is made out of) and as its subject (what it is about) check out these links
Go to any cutting edge contemporary art fair, show, Biennale and you will find artists using sound as a medium, as well as the usual more familiar tools of visual artists.Sound Art is Art which uses...
The Tate webpage dedicated to sound art to learn about its' history,( did you know sound art existed as early as the 1930s?), and about other artists working in this medium. Remember John Cage? Kurt Schwitters?
A TOK and Art discussion: Is Sound Visual?
( does visual art need to be visual?)
Here is an excellent opportunity for a TOK discussion. Divide the class into two groups, the Stuckists group and the Pro-Turner Prize group. Both groups must read the background material provided below , then debate the validity of the Turner prize contestants artwork.
Pro-Turner Prize group
There is a new generation of "visual "artists working with sound installation as an art form. Sound Art is so-called fine art in which audio is the core and often involves electronically produced noises, like the 2010 Turner Prize winner Susan Philipz who won the prestigious prize for a sound installation called Lowlands.
"Lowlands," involved recordings of her singing a traditional and popular Scottish song, "Lowlands Away," played by the river Clyde in her native Glasgow. Her plain, natural, untrained voice echoed against a massive bridge structure, and mixed in with the sounds of the environment.
Find out about Susan Philipsz
Sculptor in Sound ( Guardian)
Watch and listen to the video
The Turner Prize....
The Stuckist point of view
Critics of the prize, The Stuckists, have said the winning entry is music, not art.
Material for CS, EE, ToK!
Sound Art and artists are an interesting topic for journal reflections, Comparative Studies, or Extended Essays. The resources on this page can also be used as a springboard for a TOK discussion on what is art (and how we decide such things), on the Stuckist point of view, or on the Turner Prize itself. More about the Turner Prize