• John Tarry
  • John Tarry
  • John Tarry

Expanding the perceptual field of drawing through sound amplification and modulation, where the pencil and sketchbook become complex sound emanating instruments.

My association with Malta comes through a five year project with Riet Eekhout – a partner of Architecture Project, Malta. This culminated in a visit and lecture in September 2013, at AP’s offices in Valletta on the invitation of Konrad Buhagiar, following the publication of Valletta Gate essay and montage published in, A Printed Thing. I participated with a series of drawings and sculptures and wall constructions in the exhibition titled, ‘Reasonable Dreams’, at La Galerie d’Architecture in Paris.

Jon Tarry: Contact + Field, performance/demonstration (20 minutes)
Every space and form is alive with a constant resonant sound. Extremely sensitive microphones amplify frequency, resulting in a
primordial experience. Tools of inscription, pencil, bone, rock scrape through the surface revealing what lays beneath.

Performance times:
Weekdays – Set One: 2:00pm; Set Two 7:00pm
Weekends – Set One: 2:00pm; Set Two 7:00pm

This exploration seeks to examine contemporary design that brings together live drawing and live visual performance with sound. Art and Design is a practice of dialogues, the aim here is to mark, make new tools as a means to inscribe new sensorial and temporal spatial fields of contemporary art.

While the history of sound integrated with the visual image stretches back to antiquity, more recently there have been numerous hybrid expressions with the digital era of generative art forms in abundance. Making marks about thoughts through drawing is a direct human response, in here primordial sound form patterns—raw and immediate improvisation as the sonic pencil and sketch board become an instrumental evocations. The artist and the audience in their part as participatory spectator share the experience.

The performance/demonstration leads people through the process of sound expansion and into abstraction. Once an immersive soundscape is established the audience is invited to participate by drawing in a series of hand out sketch books which are passed through the audience. This enables people to become part the performance. At the same time, a series of large-scale floor and wall drawings where the boards are wired for sound brings people into direct engagement. The outcome is a staggering production of creativity and play, where the sound is the driving force, which unlocks individual expressions.

Design Innovation Development: graphite to graphene to sound.

While the performance demonstrates the scope of sound tools, the possibility to fuse the tool, of drawing the stylus and sound-generating device is exciting. The sound stylus allows for the generation of sound as a new instrument of creativity and expression. The development is to retain a sense of primary tool while instilling within the stylus a sophisticated possibility for generating and modifying infinite soundscapes.

The question: When a pencil and microphone are combined the notion of stylus moves beyond the blunt stick concept immediately becoming a sensorial tool in combining sensory devices vision and sound, the perception of spatial realm is expanded, how may this be placed in the hands of all educators, students of art music in a way that that removes limitations yet retains simple notions.


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