Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sound(less) bites from Jonny Farrow, AiOP 2009

Fresh off his recent show in the Video Composition Workshop (VCW) at the Diapason Gallery, Jonny Farrow was very excited to be featured this week on our blog. He was part of Art In Odd Places in 2009. His work , a "soundwalking" tour of 14th street, gave its participants a different side of 14th street not usually heard. Creative performances, such as his work, are just one of the ways how Art in odd Places explore the spectacle of daily life in 14th street.

One would think he'd give us an audio response to our questions. Yet, he decided to stick with written responses for the interview. You can still lend your ears though as you click the links to hear his previous work.

So, lend us your ears and eyes as Art in Odd Places presents Jonny Farrow.

Aiop: Tell us about you Jonny Farrow
JF: I am a sound artist/composer/performer, and I also work with video and composition for video performance. I make/use field recordings in my practice, so soundwalking is central to what I do—I am always listening for places where soundscapes overlap and for other sonic/acousmatic phenomenon.

Aiop: How was your Art in Odd Places experience?
It was fantastic. My New York Society for Acoustic Ecology (NYSAE) colleagues and I led a series of soundwalks over several weekends for AiOP in the fall of 2009. Most of my walks centered around Union Square Park, so it was nice to listen to the same place several times (at different times) and notice its particular sounds while almost always discovering some new sonic texture.

Aiop: Walk us (or should I say "Sound walk us"?) through your thought process in creating your piece for Art in Odd Places.
JF: The creation of these walks was really a collaboration between me and my colleagues Jamie Davis, Edmund Mooney and Todd Shaolm. Everyone has their own style of leading a walk—variety is important in this endeavor, especially for the participants—and we wanted to cover as much of 14th street (and in as many ways) as we could. As for my soundwalking work, it is both performative and pedagogical. It's performative in the sense that I am using my ears as the final arbiter of where the walk goes even if I have to deviate from a pre-planned route. The walks are pedagogical in that I deliver a bit of the history of the practice of soundwalking and give people exercises/tools to help them develop their own listening practice.

Aiop: Where was performance along 14th street?
JF: Our/my walks were in Union Square and all along 14th street, above and below as well. There's a list and descriptions of what we did on the NYSAE blog for those who love details.

Aiop: Any words of wisdom for artists who are interested in becoming part of this year's Art in Odd places festival?
JF:I usually charge for dispensing wisdom :) but since you asked, I would say use the resources of the festival. The organizers do a great job in supporting/promoting the artists and in offering advice about what is possible (and legal!), so it's a great opportunity to learn through engaging them.

Aiop:What projects are you currently working on and where can people reach you?
JF:I just had a sound piece in a Hostess Project event at the PPOW gallery in Chelsea as a sonic response to their *Debris* show, and I perfomed a video composition on 4/28 at Diapason Gallery in Brooklyn. As for other new projects, I plan to expand my video work and continue exploring the soundscape through listening and composition. For more info and to contact me. my web-location is:

Aiop: Any final words?
This should probably be philosohical, eh? (awkward pause...)

We heard you loud and clear, Jonny. Thanks for the responses.

Anyone can get up-to-date information about our featured artists today by visiting his website

To learn more about the New York Society for Acoustic Ecology, visit

The deadline for submission for this year's Art In Odd Place is fast approaching (May 14). If you have a great idea in mind, why don't you take a "CHANCE" and apply? Visit for details.

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