(edited by) Freek Lomme – Waving Platforms: Concerning the Work of Paul Devens

edited by Freek Lomme – Waving Platforms- Concerning the Work of Paul Devens

Onomatopee, ISBN: 978-9491677137, English, 164 pages, 2014, The Netherlands

Freek Lomme has quite an unusual position being the founder and curator of Onomatopee, an art and design institution and a prolific publishing house – two organisations that constantly influence each other. This is the catalogue of Paul Devens’ “Waving Platforms” exhibition, which, as with other Onomatopee publications, tries to embody and reflect the artist’s concept as much as possible in its design. Devens is a sound artist, architect and designer and the three main characteristics of his work are space, physical structure and resonance. He builds “environments” constructed with custom audio technologies, materials with openings that are somehow dynamic, allowing sounds to reach users in their intended way. Resonance becomes a metaphorical element used by the artist as part of social and perceptual strategies. His use of sound is powerfully evocative, with situations and elements that conjure personal imaginaries at appropriate decibel levels. The narratives involve the audience, linking settings with experiences. The book itself has a unique design: the internal pages (printed in silver and black) are split in half horizontally, forming a double booklet. It’s challenging to read it in a traditional way; the upper half is mainly illustrations of the works, with the texts below – but both are more often than not meant to be experienced together. The work is a nice example of paper dynamics as a symbolic translation of artistic practices manifested elsewhere.