American interdisciplinary artist and composer Yann Novak returns to 901 Editions with his 4th edition for the label following ‘Blue.Hour' (2013), ‘Undefined' (with Richard Chartier, 2013), and ‘Liminality' (with Fabio Perletta, 2014). His new venture takes the form of a book and CD documenting the history of his series of works ‘Stillness' (2010–2017) through essays, photographs, and an audio CD.
‘Stillness' takes its inspiration from the two climates Novak has inhabited: Subtropical in Los Angeles and Oceanic in Seattle. In these works he investigates these climates’ almost static meteorological states and their emotional effect on their inhabitants. Constructed from numerous photographs of the horizon and shortwave radio signal tuned to static in each location, the source material is intended to captures a literal portrait of these climates. These elements are then digitally altered to create an ambiguous abstraction, leaving enough of the source to guide the experience and define the location, but abstract enough to create an immersive environment perfect for contemplation and personal reflection.
The book includes essays by Independent Curator Suzy Halajian and Director of Audience Engagement at The Broad Ed Patuto. In her essay 'Unbound Time', Halajian explores how these works ask us to question what can an understanding of time look like when it is not measurable, containable, or even expressible? In Patuto’s essay 'Stillness at The Broad', he expands on why ‘Stillness' was chosen as the first artwork to be exhibited in the renowned Los Angeles museum’s massive third floor gallery. To compliment the essays the book includes photographs documenting three iterations of the work, first in London and then twice in Los Angeles. The Audio CD rounds out the edition with abridged versions of the sound elements from 'Stillness.Subtropical' and 'Stillness.Oceanic', mastered for home listening by Lawrence English.
Yann Novak is an artist, composer, and curator based in Los Angeles. His work is guided by his interests in perception, context, movement, and the felt presence of direct experience. Through the use of sound and light, Novak explores how these intangible materials can act as catalysts to focus our awareness on our present location in space and time. Novak’s diverse body of works – audiovisual installations, performances, architectural interventions, sound diffusions, recording, and prints – ask participants to reclaim the present moment as a political act.
Novak’s work has been experienced through exhibitions and performance at the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena; The Broad, Los Angeles; California Museum of Photography, Riverside; Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles; de Young Museum, San Francisco; Getty Villa, Pacific Palisades; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Human Resources, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Mutek Festival, Montreal; Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Soundfjord, London; Susanne Vielmetter LA Projects, Los Angeles; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; and The Stone, New York, among others. His recorded sound works have been published by Crónica, Porto; Dronarivm, Moscow; Farmacia901, Berlin; Hibernate, Leeds; Home Normal, London; LINE Imprint, Los Angeles; Tigerbeat6, Los Angeles; and Touch, London, among others.
As a curator, Novak focuses on creating opportunities for artists and audiences to build communities that otherwise might not exist. This began in 2005 when he re-launched his father’s imprint Dragon’s Eye Recordings with a new focus on limited edition releases by emerging and mid-career sound artists, composers, and producers. Since its re-launch, Dragon’s Eye Recordings has published over 70 editions and has received critical acclaim internationally. In 2013, he became a member of VOLUME, a curatorial collective dedicated to presenting time-based work by emerging and established artists engaged in sound-based practices through performances, concerts, exhibitions, screenings, workshops, and publications.
Novak has participated in numerous artists residencies including the The Jental Artist Residency, Sharidan, Wyoming; The Mountain School of Arts, Los Angeles; The Taliesin Artist Residency, Spring Green, Wisconsin; and The Touch Mentorship Programme, London, among others.
In recent years, Novak has collaborated through select installations, performances and recorded works with Johanna Breiding, Rebecca Bruno, Richard Chartier, Robert Crouch, Rafa Esparza, Taisha Paggett, Fabio Perletta, and Alex Schweder, among others.