SOUND BARRIER
is a sound installation consisting of some 150 portable CD-and cassette radios assembled as a wall, approximately ten metres long and two metres high. Visually, these devices function as elements in a structure inspired by historical stone constructions, They are also playback units for a composition of sounds borrowed from radio waves; Morse code, FM- and satellite radio - sound signals that also will be obsolete and forgotten sooner than we might expect. The sound is distributed through 22 synchronized CD players and a number of radios. At different intervals, pre-programmed initiation devices launch various groups of players, with the sound activated by a motion sensor connected to a time-relay control unit.  The installation Sound Barrier examines the development of technology and its disintegration within our culture and time. It is a creative examination of correspondences and the juxtaposition of issues. The questions it poses are many, including and especially:”What will become of the ruins after us?” (more text below)

"Are the 1980s the Egypt of our day? Maia Urstad´s installation, SOUND BARRIER, explores the relationship between ancient history and the not-so-distant past, and between technology and history. Sound Barrier is constructed of nearly 150 CD/cassette radios playing edited radio recordings. In the gallery, the viewer is confronted with a wall created by both sound and sound sources; ruins in which the stone blocks are not the stones of antiquity but yesteryear’s technical marvels.  Just like the noises that surround us are walls which constantly enclose us but which we rarely pause to consider, it is only when the wall has become a historical monument that it attracts our attention. Sound Barrier puts our not-so-distant past on display and it becomes the object of our gaze. The installation places it within history, reminding us of the fluctuous quality of the very latest advances. The sounds we hear are excerpts of news broadcasts, interference and static; background noise from the airwaves that usually disappears in the same instant it occurs, but here is frozen and placed in the foreground, thus problematizing the concept of evolution and advancement while dissolving the border between old and new. After all, isn’t the cassette radio, one of the most striking symbols of the 1980s´ gaudy yuppie aesthetic and absurdly optimistic view of progress, one of the most outdated devices around today? The technology is completely viable, but the devices are nevertheless relegated to the scrapheap and second-hand shops, pensioned far too early. The installation Sound Barrier investigates the connections, imagines what the comparison might mean and poses the question – what type of ruin will we leave behind? "  Text by Roar Sletteland, translated by Melanie Fieldseth

Sound barrier # VII
Date:  2010 - 2011
Place: KODE2 / Bergen Art Museum at the excxhibition "BGO1".
Curators: Erlend Høyersten, Eli Okkenhaug, Frode Sandvik.
Constructed by: Steinar Hindenes and Maia Urstad
Produced by: Maur Prosjekter

Sound barrier # VI
Date: October 26th 2008 - March 1st 2009,
Place: Johannesburg Art Gallery, King George Street, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, South Africa,
Curator: Clive Kellner, Maria Fidel Regueros
Constructed by: Steinar Hindenes and Maia Urstad
Produced by: Maur Prosjekter
Support: Bergen City Council and
OCA-Office for Contemporary Art Norway
The installation has a new sound composition specially made for Johannesburg Art Gallery.

Sound barrier # V
Date: june 17 - July 29 , 2006
Place: Prefic Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada
Support: Norwegian Embassy, Bergen City Council, OCA - Office for Contemporary Art,
Curator : Rhonda Corvese
Constructed by: Steinar Hindenes and Maia Urstad
Produced by: Maur Prosjekter
Producer: Marie Nerland

Sound barrier # IV
Date: Jan. 13- Feb.19. 2006
Place: Saint Mary[og]rsquo;s University Art Gallery (SMU) in Halifax, Canada
Curator : Rhonda Corvese
Constructed by: Steinar Hindenes, Ryan Suder, Maia Urstad
Produced by: Maur Prosjekter
Producer assistance: Marie Nerland
Support: Bergen City Council, OCA - Office for Contemporary Art, Komponistenes Vederlagsfond, Norsk Musikkfond, Norwegian Organisation of Interior Architect and Furniture Designers

Sound barrier # III
Date: Nov. 27 2004 - Jan 23. 2005
Place: Malmø Kunsthall,  Sweden, at the Electrohype Biennial 2004
curated by Electrohype/ Anna Kindvall and Lars Gustav Midboe
Produced by: Maur Prosjekter
Co-produced by: Electrohype, Malmø
www.konsthall.malmo.se
www.electrohype.org

Sound barrier # II
Date:  7. - 17. October 2004.
Place: The Stenersen Museum, Oslo, during Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival.
Constructed by: Steinar Hindenes, or Stokke, Ole Lea andMaia Urstad
Produced by: Maur Prosjekter
Co-produced by: Ultimafestivalen and PNEK - Production network for Electronic Art, Norway.
www.ultima.no //www.pnek.no // www.stenersen.museum.no

Sound barrier # I
Date: 20. - 28. March 2004
Place: Strandgaten 218, a temporary gallery on Nordnes in Bergen during Borealis Festival for contemporary music
Constructed by: Steinar Hindenes, Lise Risom, Rune Salomonsen, Hans Skogen and Maia Urstad
Produced by: Maur Prosjekter
Co-produced by: Borealisfestivalen www.borealisfestival.no and BEK - Bergen Center of Electronic art www.bek.no

All installations are constructed on site by Steinar Hindenes and Maia Urstad.

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