Musician and sound artist Ryan Olson teams with producer and sound artist Seth Rosetter o convert the stairs and basement of MASS MoCA’s Building 10 into a musical instrument. allovers is “played” by stimuli from its surrounding environment, from snippets of conversation and footfalls, to the rattle of carts and deliberate acts of musical intervention.
Visitors will encounter the installation as they enter the basement from the museum’s lobby. Allovers provides back-line beats — overdubs, harmonic tones, and melodies — with musical motivation to the “band” provided by visitors. An analog knob and dial, on the panel mounted on the wall facing the windows, invites visitors to alter the compositional algorithm, shifting between an array of musical atmospheres, from ambient fuzz to hard-party modes.
Allovers joins a large group of long-term sound installations commissioned by MASS MoCA, including works by Bruce Odland + Sam Auinger, Christina Kubisch, Julianne Swartz, and Zarouhie Abdalian. Like many sound artists, Olson and Rosetter combine a background in music with an interest in visual art. MASS MoCA’s commitment to sound art aligns particularly well with its unique mission, unusual among museums in that it devotes a full half of its resources and bandwidth to the performing arts. The museum’s performing arts programming is anchored by a series of festivals and concerts throughout the year: Olson’s relationship with MASS MoCA, for example, began with a 2018 concert by the band Poliça (which Olson produces).
Seth Rosetter is a Los Angeles-based sound artist. Utilizing his background in engineering, architecture, and music, he builds custom software, creates tools, and develops processes to help make and inform work. He enjoys collaborating with other artists, often providing a technological perspective. He is one half of experimental electronic duo LDX ROE (http://ldxroe.com/).
Ryan Olson is a Minneapolis-based producer/sound artist (Marijuana Deathsquads, Poliça, Gayngs, and Dungeon Master).