The sound of shadows: Peter Vogel

Jean Martin, Conall Gleeson

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition


The first dedicated UK retrospective of renowned European sound artist, Peter Vogel opened at the University of Brighton, UK, in October 2011. Curated jointly by Conall Gleeson and Jean Martin, the exhibition explored the subject of sound in gallery spaces through Vogel's interactive sound objects. The exhibition featured a significant number of Vogel’s important works including the two innovative and interactive large-scale works, the Sound Wall and the Shadow Orchestra. These formed the core of the exhibition that also included smaller sound and light kinetic sculptures. Peter Vogel’s works are difficult to categorise, they demonstrate a breakdown of the boundaries across practices within fine art and performance traditions and question established relationships between sculpture and sound, seeing and hearing, the static and the live, as well as challenging the place of sound within the historiography of gallery spaces. They refuse to align with any single artistic movement yet resonate with the aims of so many. Drawing on the artistic values of the 20th century as much as prefiguring the emerging concerns of the 21st, Dr Nye Parry writes that Vogel's "pieces combine the open form sensibilities of interactive multimedia with an almost classical visual aesthetic that emphasises clean lines, balanced forms and delicate structures. They ask new questions about the relationship between the spectator and the aesthetic object that bring it right up to date with contemporary artistic and philosophical enquiry. Vogel emphasises the importance of the perception of time in his work and the use of sound and light to articulate this using his skill as a circuit designer to create beautiful soundmachines that respond to the movements of gallery visitors". A DVD documentary directed by the exhibition curators accompanied the exhibition. It explores Vogel’s work in the context of contemporary sound art practices and features interviews and discussions with, the artist and writer David Toop; the Berlin based Professor Helga de la Motte who established sound art as an academic research field in Germany and Matthias Osterwold, curator of the Sonambiente Festival 1996 in Berlin, and who is now artistic director of the Maerz Music Festival in Berlin.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2011
EventSounding out the Museum - Peter Vogel Retrospective Exhibition - University of Brighton, Faculty of Arts Gallery
Duration: 14 Oct 2011 → …

Bibliographical note

The DVD documentary is published by Wergo, a division of the Schott Music & Media, Germany


  • performance
  • sound art
  • exhibition


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