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 a queer interdisciplinary artist and composer 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.
His work has been experienced through exhibitions and performance at AB Salon, Brussels; Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, California; The Broad, Los Angeles; Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles; Danspace, New York; de Young Museum, San Francisco; Fylkingen, Stockholm; The Getty Villa, Pacific Palisades, California; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Human Resources, Los Angeles; Iklectik, London; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; LACMA, Los Angeles; Mutek Festival, Montreal; PICA, Portland; SFMoMA, San Francisco; Soundfjord, London; and The Stone, New York, among others. His recorded sound works have been released by 901 Editions, Dragon’s Eye Recordings, LINE, Room40, and Touch, among others.
Novak is a recipient of a 2019 California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists. He has participated in numerous artists residencies including EMS Elektronmusikstudion, Stockholm; Jental Artist Residency, Sharidan, Wyoming; Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio, Melbourne; Mountain School of Arts, Los Angeles; Taliesin Artist Residency, Spring Green, Wisconsin; and the Touch Mentorship Programme, London, among others. Novak’s work has been the subject of articles and reviews in publications including C Magazine, Drain Magazine, Inside Art, LA Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Neural Magazine, Signal to Noise, The Stranger, and The Wire, among others.
Photo: Tyler Hubby