Monday, January 19, 2009


+ROOM-ROOM at Henry Art Gallery (photo by Jamie Drouin)

My friend Yann Novak will be back in town in a couple of weeks for the opening of his show with Jamie Drouin. There will be a live performance on Friday, February 6 at Henry Art Gallery.

+ROOM-ROOM will mark the second time you and Jamie Drouin have collaborated at the Henry Art Gallery. How did you guys meet and start working together?

We actually met at The Henry in 2006, it was the first time the Decibel Festival collaborated with The Henry. Jamie and I were both participating in the festival and The Henry hosted a panel discussion we were both on. Neither of us knew of each other but recognized interesting similarities in our work. We kept in contact after that and the first time Jamie came down to collaborate with me we ended up doing the Auditorium performance at The Henry.
Your art takes the unnoticed ambient noise of space/environment and makes it noticeable. How did you take that from a concept and develop it into your art?

My process arose from my inability to justify using sound that was designed on the computer. When working with the computer the possibilities are limitless, but using a sound just because it sounded interesting felt mildly impersonal. It's personal because I chose it, but there is no dialogue between the listener and I of how I got there. My goal was to convey emotional states that I experienced to my audience. By limiting myself to only the sounds I could get out of the recording at hand, my work felt more connected to that time and place of both the recording and the state i am trying to convey. This process also levees artifacts of the original recording which gives the listener a doorway into what the recording is, where I have taken it, all presented in the piece's final form when the audience is presented with it. The act of taking a recording from A to B depends on the format of its presentation. I generally don't edit a recording duration so if I am composing a performance for instance, I will start with a recording of the appropriate length say 45 minutes, If I am composing for a track on a compilation, I will start with a much shorter recordings say 10 minutes. After that, it's all alterations in the computer which I purposefully try not to understand so that the process of discovery and the alterations of the recording stays as impulsive and emotional as possible. By doing that I hope to keep the work as genuine as possible.

Yann Novak (photo by Robert Crouch)

What's coming up in 2009 for you and Dragon's Eye?

I have a new CD coming out in February on Jamie's Infrequency label called The Breeze Blowing Over Us. Then I will be performing here in LA at a festival at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary exhibits) in April. Then back to Seattle at the end of April to install my show at Lawrimore Project. Then a little later this year in August I will be doing some sound for an Alex Schweder installation at SFMOMA and in October I will be going to Wyoming for a residency at Jentel.

As for Dragon's Eye, I am focusing on releasing work from new artists and from artists that have not released full length solo releases on the label. Lissom from SF in March, Celer from LA in May, Jamie Drouin in July, Ian Hawgood from Tokyo in September and Corey Fuller from Bellingham in November.

I know it's only been a couple months, but we're really excited to have you back in Seattle! We miss you!

I'm excited too! Though it feels like I just left. Time has gone so fast since I left.



Betsey said...

Thanks for posting, Joey!!
We're really looking forward to Yann and Jamie's exhibition here - and the performance. I hope to see you there!

Joey Veltkamp said...

Oh for sure! I can't wait!