ARTIST: Tamara Albaitis
TITLE: Anticipate
LENGTH: 5:51

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 multi-sensory installation.

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.

Tamara Albaitis
Chicago, IL
albaitis_t AT yahoo.com