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UAL Research Online

'Cry Wolf' and 'Do(n’t)'

Wynne, John (2001) 'Cry Wolf' and 'Do(n’t)'. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Wynne, John

'Cry Wolf' was a site-specific sound installation using 25 computer-controlled speakers in Kiasma, Helsinki’s Museum of Contemporary Art. It formed part of Transience: Sound in the City, an exhibition of sound art which the researcher co-curated along with Michael Madsen and Rita Leppiniemi.

'Cry Wolf' is one of a series of installations which makes use of auditory warnings (alarm sounds) designed as part of the research using sophisticated sound diffusion systems to move sound precisely through a large area of architectural space. The first work in this series was banned by the City Council of Copenhagen for allegedly “frightening and confusing the public”. Subsequent work has been more engaged with the paradox of using alarm sounds to create beautiful, almost ambient moving soundscapes.

Some of the material generated for 'Cry Wolf' was used for the three pieces which constitute 'Do(n’t)'. 'Do(n’t)' began as a presentation to the European Group for Organizational Studies at their annual conference at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. It was then commissioned as a set of 3 works for the online academic journal, Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization. Video versions of these pieces were then curated by Hull Art Lab as part of the Humber Mouth Literary Festival in Hull, UK. They were chosen to play at half-hour intervals on the BBC’s ‘Big Screen’ in Victoria Square in the centre of the city. One of the pieces was banned by the BBC, but the other 2 played throughout the 2-week festival.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

John Wynne has a PhD in Sound Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London. His work, which is most often research-based, is made for museums, galleries and public spaces, as well as for radio. In 2009 he became the first sound artist to be represented in the Saatchi collection: his untitled installation for 300 recycled speakers, player piano and vacuum cleaner was developed with assistance from the AHRC and will be shown for the second time at the Saatchi Gallery in 2010.

John recently undertook a project co-funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project to work with members of the indigenous Gitxsan community in northern British Columbia, whose language is threatened with extinction. The resulting installation will premiere at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver before showing at the 'Ksan gallery in Gitxsan territory. He is also compiling an archive of the materials he recorded with linguist Tyler Peterson which will be kept at 'Ksan for community use.

His work with endangered click-languages in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, in collaboration with linguist Dr Andy Chebanne and photographer Denise Hawrysio, resulted in an award-winning 'composed documentary' for BBC Radio 3 as well as a photographic sound installation which showed at the Botswana National Museum, the National Art Gallery of Namibia and the Brunei Gallery in London: "Impressive sound sculpture," according to the Wire magazine.

John was artist-in-residence, along with photographer Tim Wainwright, for one year at the Harefield Hospital in Middlesex, one of the world's leading centres for heart and lung transplants. He recorded patients, the devices attached to or implanted in them, and the hospital environment itself. The project resulted in a collaborative 24-channel installation shown at the Nunnery in London and at the Beldam Gallery, Brunel University. Other outcomes include an award-winning radio piece for the BBC, a book and DVD publication and a surround sound video piece which premiered at Tate Britain.

John has created large-scale multi-speaker installations in public squares in Copenhagen and Toronto: one was banned by the City Council of Copenhagen for allegedly "frightening and confusing the public" and the other was described in MusicWorks magazine as "an ambient, ghost-like presence". He has also created large-scale installations using discarded but working hi-fi speakers in Berlin (Fallender ton für 207 lautsprecher boxen) and Hull (230 Unwanted Speakers): according to one writer, the Berlin piece "sounded like heaven . and hell."

He has had articles published in Autumn Leaves: Sound and the environment in artistic practice, Playing with Words: The spoken word in artistic practice, Sonic Geography: Imagined and Remembered, Leonardo Music Journal and Organised Sound. Upcoming publications include contributions to Between Art and Anthropology, The Art of Immersive Soundscapes and Beyond Text.

He has created soundtracks for films selected for the London Film Festival, the BBC Short Film Festival, the Whitechapel Open, the European Media Art Festival and the Rotterdam International Film Festival.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 1 February 2001
Related Websites: http://www.sensitivebrigade.com/Do(n't).htm, http://www.lcc.arts.ac.uk/coursework/sound_arts/JW/auditorywarnings.html, http://www.lcc.arts.ac.uk/coursework/sound_arts/JW/flying10.html, http://www.lcc.arts.ac.uk/coursework/sound_arts/JW/orangealert.html
Related Websites:
Related Publications: Article in Ephemera: theory and politics in organization (Vol 3 No 4) 2003 . See http://www.ephemeraweb.org/journal/3-4/3-4index.htm, Article in Static, the online journal of the London Consortium (Issue 6) 2007. See http://static.londonconsortium.com/issue06/static06_wynne.php
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
'Do(n't)' at BBC Big Screen, Humber Mouth Literary Festival, Hull, U.K.2005
'Cry Wolf' at ‘Transience’, Kiasma: the Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland2001
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 23:44
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2010 10:22
Item ID: 1436
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1436

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