Peter Vogel: The Sound of Shadows
was the first UK exhibition to examine the perception and reception of sound in gallery spaces through the work of pioneering German sound artist Peter Vogel, widely known for his interactive electronic sculptures. Co-curated by Gleeson and Martin, the exhibition constructed a taxonomy of the early, middle and later periods of Vogel’s works as a means of addressing relational issues between the art object and the active participation of audiences, as well as exploring perceptions of time through the shaping of sound and light.
Gleeson employed a series of performative strategies to develop audience engagement with Vogel’s art objects, including: commissioning two new performance works to contextualise and expand the range of creative responses to the objects; and strategically ‘musicalising’ the audience’s encounter with the sound-making objects. This raised a series of problematic questions around the act of seeing and listening in relation to the perception of time. Time is not represented in Vogel’s objects, but is experienced and structured through audience activation of the sound objects. Gleeson addressed the act of seeing in terms of its relation to sound: sound not only extends the time of absorption, but also structures the act of seeing.
An international symposium combined theoretical investigations from scholars and artists, with performances from Peter Vogel’s son. The symposium positioned Vogel as a pioneering figure in the field of interactive sound art and in the crossover between science-technology and the arts. The research findings were made visible through the symposium essays, a documentary film, performances, audience engagement and the comprehensive Peter Vogel: The Sound of Shadows
The Vogel initiative was sponsored by The Henry Moore Foundation, Siemens Music Foundation, the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen and the University of Brighton.