Most often visual art is something you see, not hear.
Not so with Margaret Noble and her exhibit “Resonating Objects,” which opens Friday in Lewiston. Noble combines sound, sculpture, installation and performance as she works with recycled objects, circuitry and other materials to create interactive objects that carry new meanings. The daughter of Clarkston artist Jill Hosmer, Noble was raised in California and received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sound Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
We checked in with Noble via email to find out more about her work:
360: This exhibit seems like it might be noisy. How do the different layers of sound affect the exhibit experience?
Noble: “Resonating Objects” is actually quite intimate — each object provides a quiet and personal experience for the participant. The sounds work together with the gestures of touching the work, the physical materials of each sculpture’s design and the personal responses of the audience.
360: Tell us more about your relationship with sound. What sounds are you drawn to? What sounds have shaped or influenced you?
Noble: I grew up studying dance and then was later influenced by 1990s rave culture and became a house music DJ. After a few years of that, I wanted more flexibility in designing and working with sound. I wanted to test sound as a way to animate objects to make more powerful art experiences that involves the participants in a more connected way.
360: Some might describe what you do as “sound art,” which is not something typically found in an art gallery. How does it differ from, or relate to, the more common art form of music?
Noble: That is a difficult question as many people disagree about “sound art” versus “music,” but for me, the sounds I use are more like ambiences or narratives. I build spatial soundtracks from experimental sounds and field recordings to create environments, memories or dreams.
360: Much of your work is interactive and relies on technology to create a visual or sonic effect. Why make these pieces interactive?
Noble: The interactions are designed to create a start point for the experience. Rather than having sounds run on continuous loop with no beginning or end, there is an entrance into the experience determined by the audience through interaction.
360: Tell us more about “Homemade Time Machine” and “I Long to be Free From Longing.”
Noble: “Homemade Time Machine” is a fantasy sculpture of affordable and playful escapism made with historical sound recordings to create a type of “time travel.” “I Long to be Free From Longing” is about the loneliness of memories and holding onto to things that are not there.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: “Margaret Noble: Resonating Objects”
WHEN: Opening reception 5:30 p.m. Friday, artist tour 1 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE: Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts & History, 415 Main St., Lewiston
The exhibit runs Friday through Dec. 15. The gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.