Vibrations: A Sound Experience, June 3rd – July 2nd

With work by MJ Caselden and Derek Hoffend

Curated by Stephanie Dvareckas

Vibrations: A Sound Experience is an interactive sound exhibition with work by MJ Caselden and Derek Hoffend. Consisting of artwork that utilizes sound, vibrations, and magnetism, the exhibition explores the potential for achieving alternate modes of consciousness through art experiences, while considering both art and the exhibition space as transformational tools lending the viewer the ability to abandon consciousness in order to achieve a measure of transcendence.

Both artists are influenced by the therapeutic properties discernible in sound and employ meditative concepts to inform their work. Drawing from the sound philosophy of somaesthetics and the illusory properties of binaural beats, the sound pieces in this exhibition are distinctively physical and require bodily interaction from the viewer. The unconscious mind, identified by the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, in the 1900s, supposes that there are hidden thoughts and emotions that can not be deliberately accessed. This exhibition consists of work designed to express the idea that one is able to access that concealed metaphysical space, providing the viewer with the ability to access inner knowledge and unfiltered perception.

About the Artists:

MJ Caselden: I am a sound artist and inventor. I lead a design firm in New York City dedicated to prototyping and innovative use of technology, helping artists and tech companies realize new ideas.

My artwork often explores ritualized listening, offered as guided group sound meditations, or as sound-generating sculpture. Resonating sculptures surround listeners, creating immersive listening spaces for self-reflection and contemplation.

Recent exhibitions showcase a new invention I call “Magnetic Sound”, sculptures that use varying magnetic fields to induce vibrations in metal and wood. I work with this magnetic energy to create repetitive, mantra-like vibrations conducive to deep listening and meditation.

I’ve been exploring integration of these meditative sounds with lifestyle, releasing sculptures for other people to develop their own at-home sound experiences. As the project continues to grow, we are also experimenting with teachers from long-standing healing arts practices such as Asana Yoga, Tibetan Tummo breathwork, acupuncture, and Ch’an meditation.

The Magnetic Sound project has grown to include collaboration with tech companies such as Intel, and been featured in art, meditation, and retreat spaces around the world including the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Times Square. For more information, visit www.magneticsound.com

The Magnetic Sound project is made possible with the support of Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center, Canon Inc., D.S. Solidworks Corp., Intel Inc., NEW INC, Mombucha Kombucha, and The New York State Council on Arts.

Derek Hoffend: My work is characterized by installations that combine sculptural forms with sound and interactive experiences. Pieces explore the intersection of sound as a medium with sculptural forms and structures, as well as light, sites, spaces, and the human body to create immersive and participatory experiences for viewers, employing sonic, electronic, and physical media.  Works are often interactive and invite participation through touch or motion, exploring cause-and-effect relationships of viewer action within reactive systems, as well as personal and social dynamics found in play and collaboration.

Recent work explores an interest in facilitating somatosensory responses, therapeutic experiences, and shifts in consciousness via direct viewer participation. I am particularly interested in works that create a space where scientific and metaphysical ideas can cohabitate, creating a bridge between the physical and supernatural, and inviting the potential for interplay between sensory and spiritual experiences.

To this end, I am inspired by and employ a variety of processes and theories in my work such as vibro-acoustics for haptic experience, entrainment theory (rhythmic, biomusical, and neural), acoustic phenomena such as monaural and binaural beating, and components of sound therapy, sacred-geometry, and color therapy. Biofeedback principles and techniques are also employed such as using heart-rate monitors to trigger external events in the form of sound and light feedback.

My music practice includes recording and performing electronic music under the moniker Aether Chroma as well as my own name. Live performance works have varied between collaborative electro-acoustic improvisation, solo immersive soundscape journeys, and beat-driven electronica working extensively with digital and analog synthesis, software such as Max/MSP, hand-made circuits, field-recordings, and modular synthesizers.

Works have been performed or exhibited at Mobius Artist Space (Boston/Cambridge, MA), IBM (Cambridge, MA), Microsoft Start-up Labs (Cambridge, MA), the Distillery Gallery (South Boston, MA), Studio Soto (Boston, MA), Union Square (Somerville, MA), The Enormous Room (Cambridge, MA), sQuareone Studio (Boston, MA), 90.3 WZBC (Boston, MA), Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT), Sonotheque (Chicago, IL), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, IL), Athenaeum Theater, (Chicago, IL), and Consolidated Works (Seattle, WA).

~~~ Hoffend holds a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Art and Technology (2004), a MA from New York University in Studio Art (2001), and a dual-major BFA from the State University of New York at Fredonia in Sculpture and Photography (1997). He is currently Associate Faculty of Interactive Media at Becker College in Worcester, MA, and Adjunct Faculty in Animation at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA. He lives and maintains a studio in Boston, MA.