The Wired Salutation

founded in 2013

Biography

Angela Bulloch

born in 1966 in Ontario, Canada; lives and works in Berlin, Germany

1985–1988 Studies at Goldsmiths College in London

1988 Participation in the groundbreaking exhibition Freeze, curated by Damien Hirst
1990s Member of the Young British Artists

1997 Nomination for the British Turner Prize

2001–2002 Guest professor at the Academy of Applied Arts Vienna

Visual Arts

Visual Arts

Angela Bulloch uses light, architecture, text, music, video and robotics in her sculptures and extensive installations to create certain atmospheres. She prefers to operate with elementary geometric forms and play with optical effects. The conceptual starting point of her work is a critical reflection on systems and rules that are intended to structure and order social coexistence and which are omnipresent in everyday life, such as traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, house rules and much more.

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Bulloch’s pixel boxes are originally made of wood and meanwhile of three-dimensional metal cubes with a plastic windscreen. Inside, there are colored light sources which make the cubes pulse with soft colors. »Pixel« refers to »picture element« as a single color value in a screen. Designed as modules, Bulloch’s pixel boxes can be arranged together as cubes or pillars to form computer screens all the way to the size of a cinema screen. The artist combines these arrangements into installations which fill entire rooms in which up to 16 million color sequences can be programmed to create atmospheric lighting.

Bulloch often integrates music into her exhibitions, for example in the form of listening stations, each designed in one color, such as her Small Red Music Listening Station (2017) at Galerie Simon Lee. In the 1990s, she created Drawing Machines in which sounds in space provide impulses for the circles and doodles drawn by these objects. Triggers were either the sounds of the movements of the visitors, or music played on records, which the artist commissioned especially for this purpose and released on her own label ABCDLP.

Author: Daniela Hahn

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Music

Music

Bulloch learned to play the piano as a child. She actively participated in the music scene with Young British Artists, a generation that grew up with pop culture. She played on stage in jam session as a bass guitar along with her studies and artist peer group. In the 1990s she was a member of the band Big Bottom founded by the renowned musician Susan Stenger. In 2013 she founded the band The Wired Salutation along with David Grubbs — the title was to be translated with electrical hello according to Bulloch. In the 2000s, she founded her label ABCDLP.

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As early as 1989, together with friends, she ran a club on Greek Street in Soho in the heart of London where DJs and music bands performed. Bulloch herself stood on stage with a bass guitar and improvised with others in a »crude-chaotic style« (Bulloch). Since the 1990s, she has also appeared as a DJ, including at exhibition openings, where she sees music as an important element of the exhibit experience.

Bulloch was part of the band Big Bottom from the very beginning, which was founded in 1997 on the initiative of Susan Stenger. Stenger is a trained musician and comes from experimental and minimal music. She has worked with John Cage, Tony Conrad, Christian Wolff and Phill Niblock and is co-founder of the New York alternative rock band Band of Susans. From this specific tradition, she wanted to work and make music with visual artists again. Bulloch continues: »I am a sculpture artist. I work with forms in space and how they are perceived and therefore I also treat sound in the spatial structure like one of my sculptures.« Musician Susan Stenger was attracted to this type of experimenting and amateurism.

Big bottom included exclusively five electric bass guitars and a drum machine. In addition to Stenger and Bulloch, the visual artists Cerith Wyn Evans, Tom Gidley and the bassist J. Mitch Flacko played in the band. At the beginning, a cardboard doll stood in place for the sixth member, Sarah Lucas. Sometimes Gina Birch from the British post-punk and experimental rock band The Raincoats and Alexander Hacke from the legendary Berlin band Einstürzende Neubauten also played with them. The declared goal of the band was »to thrash and trash the bottom end of « Just one year after their founding, they appeared in the come-back tour current/See by the renowned Scottish dancer and choreographer Michael Clark, a pupil of Merce Cunningham. Big Bottom stood between ballet dancers in a lively choreography on stage during the show. Her last concert was played at the Volksbühne in Berlin as a pre-band for the British avant-garde art and rock group Throbbing Gristle on New Year’s Eve in 2005.

Later the music project The Wired Salutation followed as a collaboration with the composer and musician David Grubbs (born 1967 in Louisville, Kentucky). He was a founding member of the bands Squirrel Bait, Bastro and Gastr del Sol and also played with The Red Krayola as well as the visual artists Anthony McCall, Stephen Prina and Cosima von Bonin. 2014 he published the book, Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, The Sixties, and Sound Recording in which he looks at the transformation of listening practices. Other band members of The Wired Salutation are the Italian musicians Andrea Belfi and Stefano Pilia, with whom Grubs had already appeared in 2009. The band’s first appearance was at the Center Pompidou in Paris in 2013.

Bulloch has also been operating her own record label for about ten years, the ABCDLP. The record covers of the five published LPs are monochromatic and have edition numbers. Bulloch contracts musicians like George van Dan and Justus Köhncke to write music pieces and compositions. The first record was a compilation by Justus Köhncke with a song suitable for remix for DJ sets for which Bulloch designed a sleeve in disco look. Among the records released by ABCDLP is one from one of Bulloch’s band members from The Wired Salutation. The records are an essential part of the art installations and are also commissioned with this in mind. When asked whether she considers the records to be music or visual art, Bulloch answers calmly: »I don’t see any difference there, it is a music record.«

Author: Daniela Hahn

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In the Exhibition

In the Exhibition

The Wired Salutation

Theater der Künste, Zürich, 18. 2. 2016, with Andrea Belfi (perc., elect.), Angela Bulloch (bass guit.), David Grubbs (guit.), Stefano Pilia (guit.), 3:46 min

Presented by Galerie Presenhuber and Migros Museum

Film: Heinrich Schmidt, Vernissage TV

The music of The Wired Salutation combines different musical styles: from minimal music to rock to ambient. The sound is characterized by repetitive bass progressions and elongated spherical sounds, whereby The Wired Salutation also covers other pieces of music. Accompanied by Angela Bulloch and the two musicians Andrea Belfi and Stefano Pilia, David Grubbs repeats melodic figures with minimal shifts in his guitar playing, whereby his meandering melodies form a kind of endless loop. The complex and unusual sound results less from a compositional than a performance action.

The performances of this band are characterized by technically elaborate stage shows designed by Bulloch, which add light and animation videos to the musical happenings. There is always a large-format video in the background that shows Second-Life 3D avatars of all band members in front of an isometrically tiled background. Every avatar repeats one gesture and like the music seems to be stuck in a loop.

Author:

Daniela Hahn