Exhibitions

Simmons & Burke: In Media(s) Res, Media(s) In Res

Project Room 1 May 21–Aug 20, 2011

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Simmons & Burke: In Media(s) Res, Media(s) In Res
May 21–Aug 20, 2011

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Simmons & Burke: In Media(s) Res, Media(s) In Res, 2011, installation view, courtesy of the Santa Monica Museum of Art
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Simmons & Burke: In Media(s) Res, Media(s) In Res, 2011, installation view, courtesy of the Santa Monica Museum of Art
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Simmons & Burke: In Media(s) Res, Media(s) In Res, 2011, detail, courtesy of the Santa Monica Museum of Art
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Simmons & Burke: In Media(s) Res, Media(s) In Res, 2011, installation view, courtesy of the Santa Monica Museum of Art
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Simmons & Burke: In Media(s) Res, Media(s) In Res, 2011, detail, courtesy of the Santa Monica Museum of Art

Simmons & Burke cull sound and image from the internet to create their dense, layered works. The collaborative team has combined over 15,000 found images to form a single piece. Similarly, their audio works feature endless loops of merged sounds, samples, and voices. The results are hypersaturated pieces with multiple narratives–not unlike Hieronymus Bosch paintings reconceived for our time. “We like the idea of making a Frankensteinian world that is both overwhelming and quieting,” Case Simmons and Andrew Burke have said. Simmons & Burke have most often presented the prints and audio together, creating enveloping, multi-sensory environments for the viewer. Their works are stunning visual tapestries paired with curious aural cacophonies.

In Media(s) Res, Media(s) In Res is the team’s first museum exhibition. For the Project Room at SMMoA, Simmons & Burke premiers an immersive four-channel voice-scape as well as three new large-scale digital prints. The sound installation for In Media(s) Res, Media(s) In Res features appropriated dialogue in the form of questions from internet sources. The samples are taken from amateur recordings of fiction–interrogatives cut from readings of such diverse works as Huckleberry Finn, Canterbury Tales, or As I Lay Dying. The questions are then programmed with non-linear algorithmic techniques that constantly rearrange and shift so that a visitor would never hear the same compilation of questions twice. The questions are delivered non-stop throughout the space of the project room, and will, quite literally, remain unanswered. The installation comprises 3000 discrete questions–making the the viewer’s experience at once contemplative and unrelenting.

Simmons & Burke then transcribed the questions, made an image of each, and cut and collaged them into the large scale digital prints on view in Project Room 2. Each print features 1000 questions; taken together, they are the documentation of the entire sound library–they are dense and layered with content. The exhibition is accompanied by a specially made artists’ book in the form of a score or libretto.

Simmons & Burke began their collaboration in 2006 with their Temple series. Case Simmons studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and Andrew Burke received his MM from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Their work is held in La Colección Jumex, Mexico City, and in the permanent collection of the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

 

Support for the exhibition has been generously provided by Manfred and Jennifer Simchowitz; Elaine Glaser, Los Angeles; Samantha Glaser, Los Angeles; Danny First, Los Angeles; Gary and Gilena Simons; and Michel Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles