Category Archives: Featured Intermedia

Relay of Memory

The sonic impact of radio on the Americana landscape is profound. Fireside chats, Radio theatre, Payola, DJs, drive-ins, elevator Musak, waiting room noise––the vast consumerism and reach of radio continues to this day. Yet, what happens when we smash two artists (Kenny G and Nickelback) together into one spectral stretched fantasy using the transmission medium that gave life to their careers? Are we doomed to phase out our history with background noise? Or are we undulating with the beat of cultural reclamation and signification? Sending us adrift inside the electrical coils of the radio, Lying in Fireflies Besides Brown Curls and other original compositions attempt to recount a personal connection to memory, lust, and the power of radio to receive a new transmission.

Relay of Memory was exhibited at the Edith Langley Barrett Art Gallery, Utica, NY. The exhibition was supported by funds from the Oregon Arts Commission.

Wildfire

Wildfire is a 48-foot long speaker array that plays back a wave of fire sounds across its 48-foot span at speeds of actual wildfires. The sound art installation strives to have viewers embody the devastating spread of wildfires through an auditory experience.

The work was installed at the Edith Langley Barrett Art Gallery in Utica, New York. The work ran Sept. 19 – Dec. 8, 2019 as part of a solo art exhibition entitled, “Impact! works by Jon Bellona.” Wildfire was part of SPRING/BREAK Art Show in NYC March 3 – 9, 2020 curated by Megan C. Austin and Ashlie Flood.

Wildfire was made possible through the University of Oregon Center for Environmental Futures and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Impact! exhibition was supported by funds from the Oregon Arts Commission. Additional support made possible from the Edith Langley Barrett Art Gallery.

Public Final Report for University of Oregon Center for Environmental Futures.

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Awash

Awash depicts the life, color, and environment of the High Desert. The kinetic sound sculpture emanates audio from the region, while flowing as a singular mechanical wave overhead. Awash, like the High Desert, is shaped by many forces interacting in complex ways; the work is ecological – physical movement interacts with sonic vibrations. Sounds interact with the physical environment. Visual elements intermingle with acoustic elements.

The High Desert Museum commissioned Harmonic Laboratory for the work as part of its Desert Reflections 2019 exhibit. The exhibit went on to win the 2019 Charles Redd Center for Western Studies Award for Exhibition Excellence. Press release for the award.

Jon Bellona, electronics, software, field recording, Skinner church organ recording, sound editing, visual design, engineering
John Park, kinetics, visual design, engineering, schematics
Jeremy Schropp, field recording, visual design, engineering
Kevin Davis, Skinner church organ recording

Precipitation 3

Precipitation 3 is one of a series of musical compositions written for 26 clock chimes as part of the sound art installation, Aqua•litative. With my Precipitation series, I treat the electromechanical structure as musical instrument, navigating through sound with the syntactical construction of code. Compositions played by the sculpture evoke precipitation data of California weather stations by cycling through bits of its data. These cycles create emergent sonic patterns in a continuously evolving play between density and rhythm. Movement flows as collapsing waves, additively striking a cybernetic balance between natural order and mechanic motion.

Aqua•litative is a kinetic installation that renders multiple data sets of California’s water history into a physical experience. The work correlates natural factors contributing to California’s water shortages, outlining the serpentine narrative of water through the translation of data into kinetic movement and acoustic sound.

#Carbonfeed

The project #CarbonFeed directly challenges the popular notion that virtuality is disconnected from reality.  Through sonifying Twitter feeds and correlating individual tweets with a physical data visualization in public spaces, artists Jon Bellona and John Park invite viewers to hear and see the environmental cost of online behavior and its supportive physical infrastructure.

CarbonFeed works by taking in realtime tweets from Twitter users around the world. Based on a customizable set of hashtags, the work listens for specific tweets. The content of these incoming tweets generates a realtime sonic composition. An installation-based visual counterpart of compressed air being pumped through tubes of water further provides a physical manifestation of each tweet.

To see a running counter of the carbon footprint of digital behavior, learn more about this project or even listen to a song based on your personal twitter feed, please visit http://carbonfeed.org

#Carbonfeed installed at the University of Virginia.
#Carbonfeed installed at the University of Virginia.