Freedom Principle

Words: 1224
Pages: 5

Patrick Malicki
AH 100
Elise Archias and Blake Stimson

Passionate Art Through Sound In Chicago’s Contemporary Art Museum, the exhibit “The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now:” showcases interactive art that you can hear and see. Terry Adkins, Native Son exhibit stood out to me the most. Mostly because of how it played music, soto speak. Adkins had the artwork placed on the ground unlike some the other works of art that hung on walls. He made abstract art and incorporated a musical theme into his sculpture through the use of cymbals Adkins was also a musical performer which inspired him to incorporate music into his art. He also used everyday items and musical instruments such as horns or drums and stereos
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A bunch of cymbals layered on top of one another. Thirty-seven cymbals in total. One on top, then six, then twelve, and finally eighteen making up the final bottom ring. All of the cymbals are the same size and polished to a mirror-like state, which gives the cymbals the look of never being used. Fascinatingly each cymbal overlapped the other as much as the pervious cymbal overlapped it. It added to the effect of how they all acted as a whole. The reason why there are thirty-seven cymbals may be just that they fit nicely on top of one another in a way to create uniformity. Additionally, all thirty-seven cymbals were the same size and produced by the same company. Furthermore, the top may be the pretty side, but the bottom is what intrigued me the most. Underneath the pretty shiny cymbals was a steel frame with silver pipes holding the whole artwork together. The interesting part was the mash of wires weaving throughout the insides of the piece (see image below). The wires control electromagnets that when one is activated all of the cymbals play as a whole. Every thirteen minutes the artwork would start making noise. It was not a pretty noise. More annoying like an alarm clock. Just sounded as you would expect thirty-seven cymbals making noise. You can hear them through the whole gallery, unlike any of the other artworks that gave off sound. Since the noise is not pleasant it has led me to …show more content…
I analyzed the artwork by looking at it from different angles and studying it formally and ichnographically. I also timed the periods between the ringing of the cymbals and researched more into the artists past and what his intentions were for creating the artwork. The name Native Son is also book about a young African American man living in Chicago’s South Side in the 1930’s. The young man had a lot of anger and fear held back, which seems to be displayed through the playing of the cymbals. You wouldn’t come to this conclusion if you didn’t look into the meaning behind the name of the artwork. The title gives most of the hidden meaning away, but anyone who never read the book or looked into would not have discover that. meaning. The artwork was set on a timer. Every thirteen minutes the cymbals would ring for twenty seconds. I did not see a pattern in the sound the cymbals gave off. It was more of random noises. However, Adkins timer set cymbals may be a way of releasing built up emotions through the use of