Etna Sound Sculpture, 2017

Iron, white water and sound exciters (6 channels) 120 x 120 x 120 cm

 

Created as a part of Avital’s monographic exhibition ‘Variations on Harmonic Tremor’, the sound sculpture ‘Heart of Etna’ was presented for the first time in the National Museum of Science and Technology “Leonardo da Vinci” in Milan as the fulcrum of the artist’s extended metaphor created from the human and natural tremor of Etna’s landscape and people.

The expression “harmonic tremor” indicates a physical phenomenon that is often associated with volcanic activity and manifests itself through a release of seismic or infrasonic energy (very low sounds below the threshold of human hearing). It’s a particular type of volcanic tremor characterized by a sinusoidal wave with a fundamental frequency and the presence of one or more harmonic waves (similar to the waves produced by a musical instrument).

 

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On Etna everything trembles, rocks, trees and the human being” - explains Avital - “everything rings or echoes: it’s as if a whole world live on a huge loudspeaker that for thousands of years has been incessantly transmitting to its inhabitants emotional and powerful messages, overcoming cultural paradigms, beliefs and reason, in an extreme and absolute man/nature state of a rare and deep beauty.

In the Sound Sculpture ‘Heart of Etna’ Avital interprets in a more direct way the acoustic phenomenon of the harmonic tremor, taking the volcano’s infrasonic waves to an audible level through a sound sculpture. Collaborating with scientists from the Catania headquarters of the National Institute of geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) that use more than 200 sensors to “listen” and monitor the volcano, and with experts in computer science applied to sound, Avital transforms Etna’s volcanic tremor into audible and palpable sound. Thanks to a sound sculpture elaborated as musical instrument, visitors can hear the volcanic tremor, see it through the movement of water on the sculpture, and feel it through the vibrations of the iron surfaces. This Sound Sculpture is a result of a process involving scientists, expertise of technology applied to art and high level artisanal project.

 

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There are 3 copies of the work (+ artist’s proof), the first of them will be presented permanently in ‘Cusumano Masterpieces’ garden in Etna, Sicily.