ARTIST: Tamara Albaitis
This piece was made mostly with special contact microphones
that pick up electronic currents. It's fascinating to me that
there isn't a single square inch of our environment that isn't
riddled with electronic signals of some form. Anything that
can be plugged in or runs with batteries hums with energy.
I walked around my house collecting all the invisible, electronic
noises present in what was normally my personal, seemingly quiet
environment. With my headphones on, the air around me became
magnetically charged, full and digital. Overwhelmed, I'd pull
the headphones off to resume the silence I loved and depended
on for recuperation.
Coming from a visual background, I find myself associating texture
and other tactile references to the noises I collect. After
downloading them into my computer, I compose these sonic elements
to portray a situation or highlight an emotion. I layered the
electronic signals from within my house with wind chimes from
the outside of my house. The electronic noises represent a cold,
mechanical feeling; one alienated from a human's touch. The
bamboo wind chimes portrayed an organic feeling: round, alive
and contingent on wind - a life force. I took the organic wind
one step beyond and added recorded sounds of me breathing. I
felt an opposition developing between the definitions of my
space. It was ironic that the inside of my house was densely
packed with angular, mathematical sounds - intrusive and insistent
- while outside the walls, the wind, nature and my bamboo wind
chimes made the environment more inviting.
The results of this piece present a contradiction between the
evident, electronic lifestyle we have welcomed into our homes,
and the primal forces that compose us. My interest lies in the
way these two worlds are apparently becoming more compatible.
I create sound work, objects and installations that are
derived from observations in daily life. The present body of
work focuses on "everyday objects" in relation to
our refuge from the turmoil and monotonies in life. Not based
on any religious sectors, I'm interested in how we use objects
in a spiritual sense for fulfillment.
After a formal training at Grand Valley State University in
Michigan, I continued my education at the San Francisco Art
Institute (SFAI). Through the school, I traveled to China to
study Taoism and Chinese Landscape Painting. This experience
was crucial for me and led to an intense focus on experiencing
the present moment. It's the everyday, with all of its minuscule
to immense elements that composes our lives.
After returning to SFAI, I began to incorporate different mediums
into my practice, crossing disciplines and experimenting with
engaging other physical senses. I graduated from SFAI in May
2002 and currently study as the School of the Art Institute
of Chicago, where my focus is sound composition, sculpture and
In "Morning Glory" 2004, I took a common item - coffee
- and exemplified it through an installation that evoked the
senses of sight and smell. The aromatic smell of coffee wafted
to your nose as you entered what seemed to be a sacred, ritual
space. It was dimly lit with spotlights emphasizing six large
scrolls, hung from the ceiling streaming down to large trays
filled with coffee on the floor. The sound of coffee percolating.
Provoked by hot water, the coffee slowly wicked up the paper,
creating rich, brown markings. This work has lead people to
re-think their morning coffee rituals.
Ultimately, my interests lie in life fusing into art and art
fusing back into life, where the commonplace and the transcendent
merge into resolution. I am fascinated by natural order, which
directly links itself to natural chaos and chance. By working
with all our senses - as life does - I'm obscuring our perceived
boundaries between the art object and the environment.
albaitis_t AT yahoo.com