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Bruce Odland and Sam Auinger of O+A

Hear the Time of Your Life

Wednesday, March 7, 2018
7:00 PM–8:30 PM

When we think of time, we imagine spending it like money—wasting time, saving time—so our everyday existence is focused on the hours that pass or the minutes to come. Are we spending our time wisely? Can we have more time? Sound artists Bruce Odland and Sam Auinger, founders of the collaboration O+A, experience time in a different way—through listening. In this discussion and workshop, O+A experiments with the question: Can we hear time? Through various exercises, Odland and Auinger will help participants use the complexities of our auditory landscape to heighten understanding of place in time and perhaps inspire us to feel time in a different, more grounding way, rooted in the present.


Brainwave is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


About the Speakers

Photo by Daniel Oppenheim.


A pioneer in sound installations, Bruce Odland is an artist who thinks with his ears. He returns to the Rubin after his successful set of workshops last year called Ear Yoga. His first public sound installation, Sun Song, broadcasted a four-channel cloud of reverberant sound over an outdoor festival in Denver from the Clock Tower of East High in 1977. Since then he has discovered resonance and beauty in both the fractal music of nature and the transformation of vast industrial soundscapes of cities into harmonic music. In 1987 he founded O+A with Austrian sound artist Sam Auinger. Together they have developed a “hearing perspective” of the culture we live in and have responded with installations that change the perception of public space. Their latest collaboration is a permanent installation, Hearing View (2013), containing a library of healing sounds for the Rheinau Psychiatric Clinic, the oldest psychiatric institution in Switzerland. Over the years, Odland has lent his ears to many collaborative projects in film, dance, museum installation, and theater with artists such as Laurie Anderson, The Wooster Group, Peter Sellars, JoAnne Akalaitis, Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregory, Peter Erskine, Tony Oursler, Dan Graham, Robert Woodruff, Bill Morrison, Stacey Steers, Ron Miles, and many others. He has received artist grants and awards from NYSCA, Foundation for Performing Arts, Bermont Foundation, the DAAD Fellowship, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute residency, Golden Muse, Helen Hayes, Golden Reel, and Focus awards, and a Prix Ars Electronica. He is founding the Tank, a center for sonic arts and experimentation in a giant abandoned water tank in the high desert of Western Colorado.


Photo by Thekla Ehling.

Sam Auinger is a sonic thinker, composer, and sound artist. Together with Bruce Odland he founded O+A in 1989. Their central theme is “hearing perspective.” Their work is known for large-scale, public space sound installations which transform city noise into harmony in real time. 2009 O+A started on the project “Sonic Commons,” questioning the dominance of the visual culture in our perception of the world.

Auinger is also a founding member of “stadtmusik,” a collaboration between the Berlin-based composers Sam Auinger and Hannes Strobl with the media artist Dietmar Offenhuber. Stadtmusik deals with sound in cities, by analysing sound structures which are triggered by urban buildings and facilities. Over the years Sam Auinger has received numerous prizes and awards for his work. Most recently he received the Kultur Preis der Stadt Linz (2002) to honor his body of work, the Berlin Artist-in-Residence programm DAAD (1997), and the SKE Publicity Prize 2007. In 2009 he held a scholarship at the atelier Berlin at Cité International des Arts in Paris.

Ongoing he is researching the former federal capital Bonn as “city sound artist Bonn 2010”, an award given for the first time. He was a guest professor at the University of the Arts in Berlin, running the department Experimental Sounddesign at Master’s Program Sound Studies ““ Acoustic Communication.

He collaborates with city planners and architects, giving lectures and is a frequent participant of international symposiums on the topic of urban planning, architecture, media, the senses, and sound in particular.

Tickets: $25.00

Member Tickets: $22.50

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Student Tickets: $10.00

For select programs the museum offers $10 student-rate tickets. These tickets are available in advance of the event and can be purchased online, over the phone, or at the front desk. Tickets must be redeemed in person with the presentation of a student ID. Limited to one ticket per student ID.