Jan 31st 2023

Norman W. Long Artist Talk

@ Glass Curtain Gallery

1104 S. Wabash Ave., 1 st Floor, Chicago IL, 60605

Opening Tuesday, January 31st, from 5PM - 6:30PM

On view through Friday, February 17th

PROGRAMMING: Norman W. Long Artist Talk

Tuesday, January 31, 5–6:30 p.m.

5–5:30 p.m. Viewing exhibition prior to artist talk, Glass Curtain Gallery

5:30–6:30 p.m. Artist talk, Conaway Center (next to gallery)

Please RSVP here


The artist talk is brought to you through a collaboration with Student Diversity and Inclusion, and it is in association with Norman W. Long’s exhibition Calumet in Dub in the Glass Curtain Gallery from November 10, 2022–February 17, 2023.

About the Exhibition

The Department of Exhibitions, Performance and Student Spaces’ Glass Curtain Gallery is pleased to present Calumet in Dub, a solo exhibition by Norman W. Long.

Calumet in Dub focuses on Long’s research-based work delving into the ecology and soundscapes of the Southeast Side of Chicago along the Calumet and Little Calumet River area. Inspired initially by a story that aired on the BBC about the relationship of the Little Calumet River to the history of the Great Migration, Long has investigated how housing, labor, and environmental activism has coalesced in this location and how historic figure, Hazel Johnson considered the “mother of the environmental justice movement,” diligently brought these issues to light. Other inspiration was found in Annea Lockwood’s work A Soundmap of the Hudson River, and production techniques found in the works of Dub producers King Tubby and Lee “Scratch” Perry.

This exhibition consists of an 8-channel speaker installation in the main gallery, accompanied by two rooms that shed light on the research that has informed the work. The population demographics, ecological information, and pollution statistics about the Calumet region provide the raw data that Long uses in this body of work and his experimental sound art practice translates visual and text-based information into sonic experiences.

Long’s experimental sound practice uses sound from direct field recordings, sonified research data, and experimentation with various inputs and outputs. This exhibition includes sounds from historically significant locations of the Great Migration in the Calumet area, such as wind in the trees or bubbling water of a stream. Long gathers other sounds by processing data through inputs such as the TwoTone webapp (which allows him to assign a particular note or pitch to the numerical data in order to turn it into sound) or the PlantWave device (that reads plant biorhythms through electrodes connected to a plant). Once sounds have been collected, effects are used to manipulate sound and further creative methods of editing, splicing, and moving sound through multiple audio channels are used to transport the listener to different locations via the soundscapes he creates.

During the run of Calumet in Dub, a full-color catalog will be issued that includes an essay by Guest Essayist, Erin Margaret Day. This exhibition runs from November 10, 2022, through February 17, 2023 with a closing reception, public performance, and catalog release party on February 16, 2023 from 5–7 p.m.

Land Acknowledgment: The Calumet region was home to the Illinois, Miami and Potawatomi.

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