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Christina Kubisch

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Christina Kubish is one of the leading lights in the sound art field, designing sound and visual installations shown in museums around the world. Born in 1948 in Bremen, Germany, for years she struggled between her desires to create both music (she played flute and piano as well as playing at the Jazz Academy in Graz, Austria) and visual arts, until she decided to merge her two interests together in the mid-'70s. Several of her common themes involve the way people perceive and interact with nature and the sounds given out by objects that we do not normally consider musical. Among her early projects was "Emergency Solos," a series of flute recitals given while wearing assorted types of gloves. In 1977, she collaborated with video artist Fabrizio Plessia on the LP Two and Two (re-released in 2001. Using a variety of instruments ranging from the accordion to found objects, the performance artists also filmed and projected minute details of their performance on screens. Another collaboration with Plessia was Tempo Liquido, which consisted of a series of experimental sounds including that of a thimble being rubbed on a sheet of glass. In 1980, she began studying electronics at the Technical Institute of Milan. Not wanting to perform live anymore as she disliked the concert hall venue, she began creating her first sound installations. These included 1981's "Il Respiro Del Mare," for which she developed her own magnetic sound induction system. She introduced cordless headphones in her works like "Conference of Trees," which transmitted the sounds of five bonsai trees to attentive listeners. The sound component of her 1994 installation Sechs Spiegel has been released on CD, which used the architectural proportions of the Ludgwigskirche to determine the rates of repetitions and pauses in vibrating drinking glasses. In 2000, she was the feature of a 20-year retrospective solo exhibition in Russelsheim. Among her other installations are "The Clocktower Project," which used solar energy to program the type of chimes a bell tower would ring, and "Dinner Music," which projected different pieces of music at the same time through plates on a table. ~ Geoff Orens

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1948 in Bremen, Germany

Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s, '00s