25.04.2017

Corrugarou at MASSMoCA



Earmarks II The World of MASS MoCA in Sound Art

Walkways vibrating with voices, aural hauntings, solar-powered sonic landscapes, and instruments that look like buildings: EarMarks II traces new developments in sound art since MASS MoCA’s first EarMarks exhibition 20 years ago. New works by Klaas Hübner and Andrew Schrock of New Orleans Airlift and by Craig Colorusso join long-term installations by Sam Auinger and Bruce Odland, Christina Kubisch, Walter Fähndrich, Zarouhie Abdalian, Stephen Vitiello, and Julianne Swartz in this celebration of sound as medium and subject matter.

Klaas Hübner and Andrew Schrock, Corrugarou, 2017

Seen from a distance, Klaas Hübner and Andrew Schrock’s Corrugarou at first resembles a slightly sureal guard tower, its perforated metal sides slashed by large fan blades. Upon entering the structure, however, visitors find themselves within a two-story a playable musical instrument. By turning the cranks in the structure’s base, visitors can set the fans in motion. Changing the speed at which the cranks are turned in turn alters the pitch and volume of the harmonic tones that the instrument produces, as wind hums through the ridged tubes attached to the fans’ blades.

Hübner and Schrock met through New Orleans Airlift, an artist-driven initiative founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2008. Airlift encourages collaboration between international and local artists and the community, often pairing artists and encouraging them to generate new public work. Airlift introduced Hübner and Schrock—who had both previously created work that involved fans—for Music Box (2011 – 2012), an installation of playable public art projects which allowed visitors and performers  to experiment with musical composition in an entirely new way.

The musical architecture projects begun with Music Box have since spread around the globe, from Atlanta, GA, to Kiev, Ukraine. For their project in North Adams, Hübner and Schrock collaborated with Morrison Berkshire, Inc., a local metal fabricator. They used the company’s offcuts and tools to fabricate the work before transporting it downtown and assembling it on-site. The structure—fashioned from discarded materials and industrial hardware—is a communal space for sonic exploration and play, where visitors are invited to create their own sonic improvisations.  


Alexandra Foradas
Assistant Curator, MASS MoCA