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Richard Garet on John Cage: ...Cage has been a big influence in my work since I first encountered his work.

Sonochrome, 2009 (4:05) Statement Biography


John Cage has been a big influence in my work since I first encountered his work. He really opened my mind and helped me find many interesting ways, methods, and systems to work with. But most importantly I think that Cage's biggest lesson in my life and work had been to just listen and observe and allow the things that we all most normally ignore and reject to become active and enter the work. I also blame Cage for my endless (Empirical Practice) and inclinations to (Indeterminacy) and (Aleatoric systems), which also play a big role in my creative process.

Sonochrome, 2009 (4:05)

John Cage said after he entered an anechoic chamber, which is designed to attenuate sound, that he heard only two sounds. One sound was high and the other low. The audio engineer in charge told him that the high one was his nervous system in operation and that the low one was his blood circulating. Considering John Cage’s anechoic chamber experience I felt inspired to work on a piece that could arrive as a conclusion to two frequencies, one high and one low.

Sononochrome is a video/sound kinetic installation that consists of the translation of modulated light into sound. To do this I render the video projection as audio and the voltage signal that it produces is converted into sound. This process generates two frequencies, one high and one low. The imagery shown in the video consists of bright and dark lines rotating clockwise in 45-degree intervals starting from 0 to 360 degrees. This effect generates nine geometric patterns, which complete a full cycle in 4:04 minutes and then loops. As a result the visitor experiences a landscape of visuals and sounds in complete synchronicity with each other. The work aims to initiate brain responses, stimulate senses, and invites visitors to actively observe and listen.


Richard Garet is interested in the phenomena found and produced in time-based media, and human beings' relationship with both artificial and natural environments. His audiovisual exploratory steps are focused on concept and function, material and process, listening, viewing, and experience. Even though Garet’s work suits the standard gallery setting, many of his other activities as an artist explore the various practices of experimental sound and video performance. All of these modes are additional ways in which Garet’s work exposes the audience to real time explorations of audiovisual processes, emphasizing the experiential, the sensorial, and the active-reception of the body and mind. Richard Garet states, “when creating a piece I reflect on what the work is meant to accomplish, how it functions in relationship to the space, how it affects the audience, and how sound and visual content are connected to one another. These questions determine my choices and influence the direction of the work.”


NYC-based artist, Richard Garet, works interweaving multiple media including moving image, sound, live performances, and photography. He completed his MFA at Bard College, and was awarded the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, Jerome Foundation Residency Grant through Issue Project Room, and the New York State Council on the Arts Grant through Lehman College. He completed a three month artist residency at Issue Project Room, NY in 2010, and in 2006 was in residence at Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, Scottsdale, Arizona. Recent exhibitions and performances include: EAC: Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo, Montevideo, Uruguay; Fine Arts Museum of Montreal; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona, Spain; Art Museum of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico; and el Museo del Barrio, NYC. Additional exhibitions include never can say goodbye at the former tower records store; sonochrome at the Public Trust Gallery, Dallas, Texas; Leervoll, Diapason Gallery, and many more. His sound compositions have been published through sound art labels such as And-Oar, Non Visual Objects, Winds Measure Recordings, Unframed Recordings, Con-V, Leerraum, White_Line Editions, and Contour Editions. Additionally Garet co-curates with Louky Keijsers Koning, the monthly performance event Lmakseries, which integrates film, video, sound art, and media performance into the gallery's mission at Lmak Projects in the L.E.S, NYC. Garet also currently directs the independent media label Contour Editions publishing works that explore the various possibilities of sound and moving image.


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