WHAT DOES YOUR SCREEN SMELL LIKE?
INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST TIM BARNES
Tim managed to find time to answer a few questions between various sound distractions
You would I believe describe yourself as a kinetic sculptor. Can you describe your practice to me?I am a kinetic sculptor, or kinetic sound sculptor to be exact. I have spent the last year searching for a material that is both dynamic so as to be continually surprising and engaging but also critically robust and creatively fruitful. (A plane flies overhead) That material is sound.
A painter usually cannot paint without moving something and the role of movement in my kinetic work is just as necessary, only automated to continually produce a sound. My work is made to invite an attentive listener and is often very quiet and considerate of silence. (Door closes) I feel an artist who uses sound must not forget the silence and should not interrupt it unless they have something better to articulate.
Your work has a powerful emotional effect on the viewer; something is shared between the sculptor, sculpture and spectator. Is the emotional response intentional or a happy bi- product?Some people might talk about the humour in a work or bring some kind of emotional significance to the situation but this is really just baggage. (Rattling in the wall cavities) I believe in some ways that artworks can be like terminals or depositories where thoughts and ideas can be left or collected, perhaps revisited.
But I think listening is an immensely personal act. Critical listening places the perceiver at the centre of the universe.
I believe that you sometimes pine to be a painter. Do painters have an easier time within the larger art world?I suspect painters have an easier time in general, but it doesn’t bother me being someone who sculpts. I am however a little envious of the format of painting, (Telephone Rings) but the dynamic surface eventually closes down towards something finished. If it was impossible to finish a painting then I’d paint. It’s partly the idea that a painting can be finished that I find unsatisfactory about painting.
I think as long as the art works aren’t parked in the garage space, we’ll be alright. I consider more than most the auditory environment, what sounds have the potential to interfere with or modify my work in some way. Usually this is not a problem.
Your sculptures are kinetic and by definition contain moving parts and also emit sounds. One might imagine that the computer screen would be a compatible medium. Is this so?The medium of the computer screen is such that it does not allow my work to be engaged in the way I want it to be. My work is centered around the listening body and there is no opportunity for a bodily, reciprocal exchange through the screen.
(A pen rolls off the desk and falls on the floor) I don’t think so. Ideas involving the occasion, the body or the installation, these all require a live audience to appreciate it fully.
It smells like it’s over heating.