As part of its Sightings series, and as a complement to the Harry Bertoia retrospective, the Nasher Sculpture Center has commissioned renowned media artist and composer Olivia Block to make a new sound installation from recordings of Bertoia’s sounding sculptures in the exhibition. Block’s recent work reflects her interest in time, wind, shadows, and the acoustic properties of physical materials like metal and wood. The new composition, titled The Speed of Sound in Infinite Copper, will highlight the sounding sculptures’ ability to create a palpable sonic space while allowing the audience to activate the sonic experience by moving about the room. Block complements the changing aural environment projecting the silhouettes of the movement of the sounding sculptures across the floor and up the walls of the Corner Gallery at the Nasher. This will be the second work using Bertoia’s sounding sculptures for the Chicago-based Block—the first, Sonambient Pavilion, was performed in Chicago’s Pritzker Pavilion in 2015—and a homecoming for the Dallas native.
Over the past thirty years, Block has forged an influential career in experimental music and sound installation. In addition to a discography of over twenty solo and collaborative recordings, Block has performed and exhibited around the world including installations and premieres in Europe, North America, and Asia at venues such as the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, and La Biennale di Venezia 52nd International Festival of Contemporary Music.