On September 14, 2000, Dia Center for the Arts will launch Stephen Vitiello's Tetrasomia, an interactive exploration of sound archives on the internet commissioned for Dia's series of artists' projects for the world wide web. By linking existing archives of natural and environmental sound, Vitiello creates an interactive survey which visitors may use both to produce their own compositions and as a guide for further web exploration.
The term Tetrasomia refers to the Doctrine of Four Elements written by Empedocles, a fifth-century BC philosopher who first postulated that all matter is comprised of four "roots" or basic elements: earth, air, fire, and water. This now common notion provides the framework for Vitiello's organization of the physical and natural sounds dispersed throughout the internet. As with his earlier works, including an installation atop the World Trade Center in which he placed microphones against the glass windows of a 91st-floor office space, Vitiello transforms ambient sound into compositional material. With Tetrasomia, Vitiello invites the viewer to participate as a creator as well as a listener by mixing sample sounds from seventeen selected archives. Building upon this collection of found sounds, Vitiello adds four new sound compositions based on the four elements.
Tetrasomia may be seen at http://www.diacenter.org/vitiello. Dia and Vitiello will celebrate the project on Thursday evening, November 9, from 6-8 pm, with a party in Dia's bookshop at 548 West 22nd Street, New York City.
Stephen Vitiello is an electronic musician and sound artist whose compositions call attention to everyday noises, which are often considered incidental or even unheard. Recent releases by Vitiello include Scratchy Marimba (Sulphur, 2000) and The Light of Falling Cars (JDK, 1998). Since 1988, Vitiello has collaborated with a number of musicians, choreographers, and visual artists. In 1997 he directed the video Nam June Paik: Performance, 1997 - Dress Rehearsal and The Last Ten Minutes; in June 2000 he produced music for Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project's opening at The Brooklyn Academy of Music; and in July 2000 with Constance De Jong and Tony Oursler, he released Fantastic Prayers, a multimedia CD-ROM produced by Dia. Vitiello's sound-based installations have recently been presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon; Postmasters Gallery, New York; and P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York. Tetrasomia is Vitiello's first solo project for the web.
Dia's series of artists' projects for the web is generously supported by the New York State Council on the Arts. Previous projects include Gary Simmons' Wake, Francis Alÿs' The Thief, Arturo Herrera's Almost Home, Diller + Scofidio's Refresh, Kristin Lucas's Between a Rock and a Hard Drive, and Claude Closky's Do you want love or lust?. All may be viewed at http://www.diacenter.org.
Dia Center for the Arts is a tax-exempt charitable organization. Established in 1974, the organization has become one of the largest in the United States dedicated to contemporary art and culture. In fulfilling this commitment, Dia sustains diverse programming in visual arts, poetry, education, and critical discourse and debate.
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