Playing By Ear
From Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program
Artist: Norman Andersen
December 19, 1986 - February 8, 1987
An exhibition of sound-producing sculpture by Norman Andersen. Through the design and construction of sound-producing sculpture, Norman Andersen explores the relationship of sound and machine as a form of expression in art. Andersen’s sculptures represent a careful investigation into the synthesis of art, science and music. Andersen combines musical instruments, sound-generating technology and found objects to produce self-playing pieces that not only entertain but raise serious questions about how we define sound, music and art. The results are not traditionally musical, but focus on sound quality or character, often including mechanical noises natural to the systems that Andersen devises. Though the electrically-powered work is constructed of contemporary materials, much of the technology is age-old, dating back to the medieval water-wheel, the Roman hydraulis and even the African slit drum.