Timo Kahlen, Noise & Beauty

Edition Ruine der Kuenste Berlin

Edition Ruine der Kuenste Berlin, ISBN 9783927786017, 25 years of media art, 104 pages, English / German, 2010
In 2010 Timo Kahlen celebrated twenty-five years of activity in sound sculpture and media art. His audio installations are usually constructed with small speakers emitting processed natural sounds in various physical constructions. This is a comprehensive catalogue of his sound works, showing his predilection for both disturbing and involving the spectator. Sounds are contextualized and framed in specific exhibition environments like the chirping transparent cylinders of “Media Dirt” which emits sounds from the radio waves, or the furry, purring “Eins (One)”, which seems to have time-travelled from seventies science-fiction, or “Swarm”, a big steel box, almost blocking the Manifesta 7 entrance and interacting with the proximity by projecting the menacing sound of bees swarming. Kahlen’s objects are literally communicating with sound waves. Over the years he has experimented with plenty of approaches, from industrial fans mounted in cubic metal constructions to simple animated sequencers that catch pictures on web pages. In this sculptural attitude, the sounds are almost “serving” the form or the phenomenon they are confronted with – for example the wind series, where the induced movement of air animates single and aggregated physical forms through the use of light materials. Kahlen collects sounds, as he archives “static noise and beauty”, such as the recording of in-between radio stations, giving them new life and roles. Every jar, column, boot or steel structure is a talking memory book in his long artistic career.