Achim Wollscheid | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Achim Wollscheid 

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On Airs and Shifts, two recent recordings made originally for his monthly radio program, Selektion, German multimedia artist Achim Wollscheid manipulated the playback of multiple CDs, layering the output in fluid combinations to create peripatetic, skittering soundscapes that move from ominous hums to flailing white noise. The music bears certain similarities to the "glitchwerks" school of contemporary electronica, but Wollscheid's work never stays still long enough to be relegated to wallpaper. His installations are even more demanding of their audience: a few years ago, he designed lights for a footbridge that were triggered only when a pedestrian crossed--they'd then follow him across it, responding to changes in his pace. Another installation, Connective Memory, sampled the chatter of schoolchildren, categorized and stored the sounds in a database, and played them back when it detected similar sounds in the corridor where it was set up. For his gig this weekend Wollscheid will perform a sort of improvised musique concrete: via a computer program, he'll transform whatever he picks up on microphones placed throughout the space, and to stir the pot a little bit, he's preparing a meal of potato pancakes and salad--which will add the whir of the food processor, the crackle of the pancakes frying in oil, the scraping of plates, and the chewing of food, among other sounds, to his palette. If you go, bring utensils, a plate, and a beverage. Friday, February 16, 10 PM, 6Odum, 2116 W. Chicago; 773-227-3617.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Atsushi Tominaga.

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