In our daily environment there are all kind of sounds which ordinarily
escape our notice. If we were to list them up there are a great variety
of sound samples of this kind, such as the ringers of mobile telephones.
Carsten Nicolai works as a musician under the name of "noto"
and the label he started, called "noton," has been hailed
as a label "for sound and not-sound". "Not-sound"
probably refers to the kinds of quotidian sounds mentioned above.
In his 1997 DocumentaX project <spin> he snuck a simple sine-wave
45-second loop consisting of 72 sound sources including the sounds
of telephones, faxes, radios, people talking, and simple sine waves
into all kinds of daily spaces in the city of Kassel including the
airport for 100 days. In the "Empty Garden" exhibition held
in 1999 at the Watari-um Museum of contemporary art, he created the
<inside/out> project, in which visitors listened to his sounds
as they walked the route to a designated place. For Nicolai, sneaking
sounds into daily spaces is a way to encourage intercourse between
spaces and people. Something penetrates into the interior of the self
from the outside world through sounds. In <Frozen Water,> low-pitched
speakers are positioned in front of a Flask filled with water and
emit barely audible low sine waves which produce wave patterns on
the surface. When the frequency of one of the speakers is changed
the resulting interaction brings the waves to a stop. Viewers may
not be able to clearly hear the sound of the sine waves, but in the
wave patterns on the water and the reflections they produce, they
may feel something crystallize inside them. At that moment, a common
vibration may well be set up among them.
(HATANAKA Minoru / Assistant Curator, ICC)