Audio Recordings of Great Works of Art
The product of a 10-year investigation, Ed Osborn's Audio Recordings of Great Works of Art explores an aspect of the museum experience rarely brought under consideration. What do we hear as we regard the Mona Lisa - the soothing sounds of distant streams evoked by the painting, or the frenzied popping of flashbulbs? And how does this influence our reading of the artwork?
Osborn writes: "Audio Recordings of Great Works of Art is a website that explores the Aural Aura of MasterworksTM as found in the sounds in the immediate locations of highly regarded paintings, sculptures and other artworks. By making sound recordings at the sites of static artworks, presenting them with their visual representations, and accompanying them with a text that considers how sound functions literally and metaphorically within them, the piece examines by turns museum culture, the acoustic life of silent objects, and the space left to the ear while the eye is engaged. In this way new readings can be drawn out of even over-examined pieces. In regarding visual art with a leading ear Audio Recordings of Great Works of Art sounds out a rarely navigated, nearly silent, and always invisible terrain."
The 15 artworks on the site, selected from thousands recorded in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Asia Pacific region and chosen based on factors including their physical locations, relationship to site and relative fame, include Rembrandt's Nightwatch, Rodin's The Kiss, Duchamp's Bride Stripped Bare and a Mercedes W196 Strolimnenwagen.