PLATFORM 8: Soo Sunny Park and Spencer Topel, Capturing Resonance

Capturing Resonance
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On View Sep 18, 2011 - Jul 29, 2012
Exhibition Location: Window Arcade Gallery

In their first collaboration, sculptor Soo Sunny Park and sound artist and composer Spencer Topel have transformed deCordova’s Window Gallery into a multi-sensory environment. In Capturing Resonance, the eighth project in the PLATFORM series, Park and Topel have composed a large-scale installation that utilizes the intense natural light in the gallery with the flow of museum visitors through this transitional space to create an ever-changing sculptural soundscape. 

Park is best known for using quotidian building materials such as insulation, dry wall, and mesh screens to create experiential installations that rely on repetition and the interplay of light and materials to sublime effect. For Capturing Resonance, Park has similarly transformed a ubiquitous and obdurate material – chain link fencing – into something transcendent. By affixing thousands of iridescent acrylic Plexiglas squares into chain link cells, Park created a sprawling, undulating structure that transmits, reflects, and refracts both the natural and artificial light into the gallery. 

Hanging from the third floor ceiling, Capturing Resonance fills the narrow space. The cascading, interlocking convex and concave Plexi and chain link fence units appear as biomorphic forms, overwhelming the field of vision of each visitor as they enter the gallery. Depending on the time of day, rainbow hued shadows fill the space, shifting from crisp representations of the structure to abstract color washes with the path of the sun. In Capturing Resonance, shifting light becomes a sculptural material and a symbol of transient physical and psychological states. 

As visitors proceed through the interstitial – or in-between – space, motion sensors in the installation respond by activating different auditory ‘states’ that vary in both intensity and frequency. Layering an audio dimension onto Capturing Resonance, Topel blends whispering chords, soft tonal washes, and elongated instrumental sounds in a continuous and ever-changing composition that responds to human interaction. Depending on the number of people in the space, the musical states increase or decrease accordingly, and create a site-responsive installation. Hightech Holosonic Audio Spotlight panels and low-frequency bass exciters installed throughout the gallery, work together with the sculptural forms to create an experience of dematerialized or ethereal space. 

In Capturing Resonance, Park and Topel have fused visual and sonic elements in a sensorial environment that captures the dynamic interactions between light, sound, and human presence. Transforming an already architecturally in-between space, Park and Topel filter the non-physical conditions of the site – light and movement – through sculptural and aural forms to create a site-specific and responsive architectonic installation that continually shifts and transforms in relation to perspective, time, and presence. 

Download the PLATFORM 8 brochure

The 2011-2012 PLATFORM series is generously funded by James and Audrey Foster. Capturing Resonance is also supported by the Digital Musics Program at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; Holosonic Research Labs, Inc., Watertown, MA; and Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI.

Soo Sunny Park was born in 1975 in Seoul, Korea. She currently lives in Hanover, NH and is an Associate Professor of Studio Art at Dartmouth College. Park received a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio and an M.F.A Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She is a recipient of a Joan Mitchell MFA Grant, the 19th Annual Michigan Fine Arts Competition Grand Prize, The Helen Foster Barnett Prize from The National Academy Museum, New York, NY (2008), and The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Fellowship (2010). 

Recent solo shows include Soo Sunny Park, Jaffre-Friede Gallery, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; Fractal Immersion, Reeves Contemporary, Chelsea, NY; Bio-Structure: Metro-Geo, Kranzberg Exhibition, Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, MO. Group exhibitions include Fabrications, Great River Arts, The Newport Mills, Newport, NH; 183rd Annual: An Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, National Academy Museum, NYC; 2007 Invitational Show, American Academy of Arts and Letters, NYC; Joan Mitchell Foundation, CUE Art Foundation, NYC.

Spencer Topel was born 1979 in Denver, CO. He currently lives in Hanover, NH and is a Visiting Faculty member of Dartmouth College, serving in both the Department of Music and the Digital Musics program. Topel received a B.M and M.M. from Juilliard School in Music Composition and is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Cornell University. He is a recipient of of a Diploma di Merito from the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, a 2009 award for best composition from the American Modern Ensemble, Juilliard's Palmer Dixon Prize for best composition, and additional awards from BMI, ASCAP. 

His music has recently appeared on concert programs in major venues such as Issue Project Room, Brooklyn NY, Orchestra Hall, Minnesota with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Chiesa di Sana Caterina Treviso in Venice, Italy, the Aspen Music Festival, Chigiana Festival in Siena Italy, Alice Tully and Weill Concert Halls in New York, and in Tokyo City Opera Hall.


Eye Wonder Family Program

Sunday, November 6, 1–3 pm

Families will take inspiration from Soo Sunny Park and Spencer Topel's installation Capturing Resonance and create an eye catching mobile. Perfect for families with children ages 6–12, drop-in anytime between 1–3 pm. 

PLATFORM Discussion Series
Saturday, February 4, 2 pm

Join exhibiting artists Soo Sunny Park and Spencer Topel as they discuss the creation of their first collaborative work, Capturing Resonance. The conversation will investigate the development process of their individual compositions and how they are interwoven to form a holistic experience, as well as how they took to the challenge to create a transcendent work of art that encompasses such a unique gallery space.

Free with Museum admission