Kerian Varaine – Ōwheo cycles: sound-object and film installation (7/06/2018 – 30/07/2018)


In this exhibition, Dunedin artist and musician, Kerian Varaine, presents two new works: a moving image installation and a multilayered sound sculpture.


The sound object represents the culmination of 8 years of applied theoretical and academic curiosity, adapting to suit various, contextually disparate modes of presentation. It is accompanied by small publication delving into its various origins (in relation to dance, post-production, installation, and live performance). For this instalment, the work is to be adapted again, being fitted with new components made from locally scavenged macrocarpa, jarrah and acacia in addition to those salvaged from other, broken instruments.


The acoustic properties of this object are accentuated by the presence of electronics transmitting vibration from the bridge creating a feedback loop between the speaker and spring assembly inside the resonating chamber. The strings themselves are excited by a chopstick which hangs suspended from a record revolving atop a turntable balanced on a repurposed clothes rack.

Its function in this exhibition is threefold: on one hand, this sonic sculpture stands on its own –to be evaluated on its own merits– on an other, it maintains link to its history as an instrument of live performance, performing music of its own creation throughout the exhibition, and thirdly, it serves as an ambient, evolving soundtrack for Varaine’s video piece, Ōwheo cycle.


In this subtle 10min piece, detritus and litter float mesmerisingly along the Ōwheo river, temporarily delayed by a series of looping eddies and currents as it makes its way to the ocean in a manner possessing, in Varaine’s account, a “toxic sublimity”.


Opens – Thursday 7 June, 5.30pm (w. refreshments from Liberty Breweries)
Hours – Tuesday – Saturday, 12.00pm – 4.00pm.
Closes – Saturday 30 June 4.00pm.


Kerian will also be giving a workshop on Saturday 9 June, 2pm. In it, he will discuss the history of spectral analysis and its relation to his own compositional practice, and guide participants through the analysis of bird calls and other sounds using opensource (free) software.