While I’m on the subject of the Funny Noises exhibition, I found an article on axisweb.org the other day by Lina Dzuverovic about the relationship between the museum and what she prefers to call the ‘arts of sound’. Lina co-founded Electra and has worked for The Lux Centre, the ICA and Mute Magazine, and her experience in producing and commissioning non-visual artwork leads her to believe that despite recent advances in sound production and distribution technologies, institutions have still got a long way to go:
Whilst exhibitions like [Playing John Cage (Arnolfini 2005), Her Noise (SLG 2005) and others], along with a myriad of performance events and concerts which are now regularly held in museums and galleries, mark a significant move towards institutional engagement with this area of artistic production, they do not automatically guarantee a profound and long lasting institutional support (which would manifest itself through producing, commissioning or collecting) for artists working in the field. Whilst the enthusiasm for and openness towards sonic work by arts institutions cannot be disputed, the institutional relationship to sound remains complex one still in its nascent stages.
The essay’s worth a look for its catalogue of the various guises in which sound creeps into museums and galleries, even if it has to be as ‘wallpaper’ for invite-only corporate parties. It also indirectly raises some juicy issues about the context of the Funny Noises show.