OKOK Gallery Presents:
Installation and site-specific sound compositions
from the 2007 Satsop Residency
Receptions to be held at the OKOK Gallery (5107 Ballard Ave. NW seattle, wa) Jan. 9th, 7pm – 9pm and Jan. 12th, 7-9pm
Seattle, WA” OKOK Gallery proudly welcomes arts collective Environmental Aesthetics as it presents three site-specific sound compositions from its inaugural Satsop Residency Program.
In 2006 Environmental Aesthetics founders Gabe Bacon and Paul Schrag were granted access to Satsop Development Park, which operates on the site of a would-be nuclear power facility in Elma, Wa. In the late 1970s, Satsop was a component of the largest nuclear power plant construction project in U.S. history. The project comprised plans for five nuclear power reactors to be built in Hanford, and Elma WA, located 25 miles west of the state capitol. The project was cancelled after the budget swelled into the billions and nuclear energy fell out of favor with the general public. At the time of the cancellation, construction of the Satsop site was near completion.
Today, massive remnants of the project remain, including Cooling Tower No. 5, which was selected as the site of the Environmental Aesthetics residency program. The concrete tower rests beside the Chehalis River, rising nearly 500 feet in the air, its 15-foot-thick concrete wall encircling four acres of grass covered soil. To date, the structure has remained gated and largely unused. The Satsop Residency aims to reinterpret this epic monument as a sublime environment with the potential to function as an all encompassing artistic medium, emphasizing the interplay between site-specific sonic art, seemingly obsolete industrial architecture and the natural environment.
The three artists awarded the first annual Satsop Residency include: Seattle artist Yann Novak, Olympia artist Myello, and Olympia quartet Problems. In September 2007, the artists were invited interpret the tower sonically. The artists used on-site recordings to produce sound compositions representative of their individual responses to the tower’s form and acoustic qualities. These compositions and an accompanying sculptural installation will be presented at Ballard’s OKOK Gallery.
About Environmental Aesthetics:
Environmental Aesthetics was established in 2005 by Gabriel Bacon and Paul Schrag. The organization aims to foster the reinterpretation and re-contextualization of particular human and natural environments by initiating shifts in accepted historical and conventional classifications.
About The Artists:
Yann Novak is a Seattle based sound artist and founder of Dragon’s Eye Recordings. Novak uses field recordings and digital manipulation to produce compositions. These works offer Novak’s interpretation of the emotional effect of specific physical environments and emphasize the expressive nature of time and place.
Problems is an Olympia based group composed of Ian Ackerman, Joe Kuta, Warren Lee and Gabe Will. Through sound, the group actively collaborates and engages with the specific interiors in which their compositions take form. Focusing on sustained tones and the phantom melodies that arise within them, they expose microstructures and rich polyforms found within sustained pitch.
Myello is Olympia based composer Daniel Farrell. Farrell identifies his works as non-narrative associative sound poems, which are strongly informed by Surrealist philosophies and compositional strategies. Using significant and familiar sounds, and digital manipulation, Farrell’s compositions aspire to invoke the ecstatic nature of the human spirit against the backdrop of what he describes as the technological totality.
Also, stay tuned for an upcoming collaboration by Gabe Will (problems) & Aphonia Recordings co-founder/microtonalist, Ben L. Robertson.