Objects of Memory by Seth Cluett at Swarm in Oakland

Oakland, California-based Swarm Gallery welcomes Ohio-based sound artist and former Brown Cuts Neighbors bassist, Seth Cluett, for his installation in their project space, on view from March 5 – April 10, 2011. This installation is part three of the year-long sound program “Building Steam,” curated by Jeff Eisenberg, Svea Lin Soll, and Aaron Ximm.

Seth Cluett’s work examines the nature and act of recorded sound through the lens of memory. Rather than viewing a recording as a capturing of reality as it is experienced, the tangible or even representative trace of a previous event, Cluett considers recorded sound as a thing unto itself- a catalyst for the listener’s imagination, one which mirrors the processes of memory in its own unique way. In Seth’s words, “…much like memory, recorded media provide only a blueprint, not a full experience; a recording defines a structure but relies on imagination to fill in the details through confabulation…Recorded sound (re)presents a form of experience that is separate and different from, yet inextricably linked to, the personal memories imprinted by the act of recording itself.” Cluett’s projects of recordings, performances, installations, handmade works and viewer interactive tasks uses extreme magnification of simple everyday actions to exposes the impossibility of squaring what we remember with what we’ve recorded. In this way, Seth’s work sits in the hazy territory created by a cognitive and perceptual distance between the recorded and the remembered.

If all goes well I will be visiting Seth during the installation process today. A report may appear here later.

BIO: Seth Cluett (b. Troy, NY) is an artist, performer, and composer whose work ranges from photography and drawing to video, sound installation, concert music, and critical writing. His “subtle…seductive, immersive” (Artforum) sound work has been characterized as “rigorously focused and full of detail” (e/i) and “dramatic, powerful, and at one with nature” (The Wire). Exploring the territory between the auditory and other senses, Cluett’s works are marked by a detailed attention to perception and to sound’s role in the creation of a sense of place and the workings of memory. The recipient of grants and awards from Meet the Composer as well as the Andrew W. Mellon, Naumberg, and Malcolm Morse Foundations, his work is documented on Errant Bodies Press, Line, Radical Matters, Sedimental, Crank Satori, BoxMedia, Stasisfield, and Winds Measure. Cluett is currently on the faculty of the School of Fine Arts at Miami University of Ohio where he teaches in the Music Department and the Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies.