freq_wave (Pacific; Los Angeles) is an immersive installation by pioneering new media and conceptual artist, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, who will transform the interior of the 100-inch Hooker Telescope at Mount Wilson Observatories with a visual and sound installation. The project brings together twelve individual sound works by twelve artists, each operating within a unique frequency range based on field recordings from the Pacific Ocean and amplified to act as a single, generative sonic zone.
Responding to shifting vibrational frequencies within our warming oceans, the work is an urgent call to action that will transport public audiences through a tactile aesthetic experience that forms an intimate connection to nature through art and science. freq_wave (Pacific; Los Angeles) is a critical and timely response to planetary crisis wrought by the Anthropocene, the “human era” in which our species has irrevocably transformed the ecology of the planet.
First presented by TBA21-Academy in 2020, freq_wave began as a web-based project that invited 84 sound artists and composers to use hydrophone recordings as a means to make the complexities of marine degradation and pollution audible and to bring attention to the delicate soundscapes of the sea.
For the 2022 iteration, we are using the Pacific Ocean as a site for sonic research. Additionally, the 100-inch Telescope provides a unique home for this project, as it illuminates connections between our ocean-based environmental issues and the current search for water, and life, in space.
Participating artists for freq_wave (Pacific; Los Angeles) include:
15–30 Hz Greg Anderson (USA)
31–65 Hz Jana Winderen (NO)
66–90 Hz Minoru Sato (JP)
91–140 Hz Jimena Sarno (AR/USA)
141–180 Hz Bethan Kellough (UK/USA)
181–250 Hz Tom Recchion (USA)
251–350 Hz JG Thirlwell (AUS/USA)
351–500 Hz Alba Triana (CO/USA)
501–1000 Hz Jónsi (IS/USA)
1001–2000 Hz Lawrence English (AUS)
2001–5000 Hz Yan Jun (CN)
5001–12000 Hz Richard Chartier (USA)
The installation is open to the public daily from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM, September 23 to 25.
The independent radio network Lookout FM will livestream broadcast freq_wave (Pacific; Los Angeles) on lookout.fm and 96.7 FM from September 23 to September 25, between 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
In-kind support and renewable energy provided by SOLARPUNKS.
IMPORTANT TRAVEL INFORMATION
The observatory is located at the top of Mount Wilson at an altitude of 5,715 feet. It is only accessible via the Angeles Crest Highway (CA HWY 2) from the 210 Freeway at La Cañada Flintridge.
Please drive carefully as the winding mountain road is often narrow and steep with frequent hairpin turns.
Visit the Mount Wilson Observatory website for driving directions and current weather conditions. Weather conditions in the mountains can vary greatly, change suddenly, and may occasionally result in unscheduled road closures.
Visitors are advised to wear warm clothing and layers, as the air temperature at the summit can be significantly cooler than in the Los Angeles Basin.
About the Hooker Telescope
The world’s largest telescope from 1917 to 1949, the 100-inch Hooker Telescope forever changed our understanding of the scale and nature of our Universe and launched a revolution in astronomy that continues through today. This world-heritage class instrument was used by many of the greatest astronomers of the twentieth century, including Edwin Hubble and Milton Humason, who together measured the expansion of the Universe during the late 1920s. The Hooker Telescope has only recently been made available for regular public viewing. Today, it is the largest telescope in the world that you can rent, and it serves to educate the public on the wonders of the cosmos.
About the Artists
CM von Hausswolff has worked at the forefront of new media and art since the 1970s to create collaborative social experiences that enrich an understanding of culture—bringing a mature perspective to a young field. His interactive and experiential visual and sound work is exhibited in institutions such as Documenta (Germany), the Venice Biennale (Italy), Desert X (USA), Palm Springs, the Istanbul Biennial (Turkey), the Moderna Museet (Sweden), Stadelijk Museum (Netherlands), and many other high profile international venues, and he is a recognized thought leader in global art. The focus of his practice is to address climate change through deep exploration; resulting in sonic and visual experiences that build deep empathy with the natural world.
Greg Anderson is an American musician, a cofounder of Southern Lord Records. Anderson is the guitarist of stoner doom band Goatsnake and is also well known for his collaborations with Stephen O’Malley as part of Sunn 0))).
Jana Winderen is an artist who currently lives and works in Norway. Her practice pays particular attention to audio environments and to creatures which are hard for humans to access, both physically and aurally, e.g., deep underwater, inside ice, or in frequency ranges inaudible to the human ear.
Minoru Sato is an artist who works in an interdisciplinary realm related to natural phenomena. He is interested in the relationship between nature and artistic representation, creating artworks that are physical phenomena presented in relation to these concepts. He was born in 1963, in Sendai, Japan and lives and works in Kamakura, Japan.
Jimena Sarno is an interdisciplinary artist and educator from Buenos Aires, Argentina. With a focus on spatial and sonic experience, she works across a range of media including installation, sound, video, text, and sculpture.
Bethan Kellough is a sound artist and composer. Her work draws from the palette of sound produced by winds, waves, weather, and other environmental processes, weaving together musical and environmental sound-worlds across albums and multichannel compositions. Her debut release Aven (Touch, 2016) was listed in Rolling Stone‘s “20 Best Avant Albums of 2016.”
Tom Recchion has been an artist/composer/art director in Southern California since the 1970s. He is the co-creator of the legendary Los Angeles Free Music Society (LAFMS).
JG Thirlwell, known as Foetus, Xordox, Manorexia, and Steroid Maximus, is an Australian composer, musician, and producer who has released over 40 albums. He performs with a chamber ensemble and with his electro-acoustic “Silver Mantis” project. He has worked with Kronos Quartet and Bang On A Can, and he creates the scores for Archer and Venture Bros.
Alba Triana focuses on exploring the inherent intelligence of nature. Her artworks, which include sound and light sculptures, vibrational objects, and resonating spaces, are hybrid and cross the boundaries of a diverse set of fields.
Jón Þór “Jónsi” Birgisson is an Icelandic musician; he is the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist for the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós. He is known for his use of a cello bow on guitar and his “angelic” falsetto or countertenor voice.
Lawrence English is an Australian composer, artist, and curator from Brisbane, Australia. His work is broadly concerned with the politics of perception. Specifically, he is interested in the nature of listening and sound’s capability to occupy the body.
Yan Jun plays and improvises music and makes field recordings. His work uses electronics, feedback, site-specific performance/installation, noise, and show organization. His feedback improvisation sets always follow the unstable relationship between microphones, speakers, space, and his body’s movement.
Richard Chartier is a sound artist and composer from the United States. He works in reductionist microsound electronic music, a form of extreme minimalism characterized by quiet and sparse sound.
Health and Accessibility
This exhibition is an in-person event. Attendees may be required to wear a face mask and present proof of vaccination in accordance with COVID safety measures.
Limited seating will be available.
Please note that the century-old facilities are not ADA-compliant and, except for the Astronomical Museum and the Cosmic Cafe, offer no access to those who cannot climb multiple flights of stairs. Additionally, the exhibition might include the use of strobe lights, flashing animation, and other effects that could be disturbing to individuals with heightened sensitivities to light and sound.