"Prime Commonality" by Quincy Owens and Luke Crawley
Last First Friday on, September 5th, 2014, Quincy Owens and Luke Crawley previewed two out of the seven total pieces that will be an entry in Art Prize 2014 in Grand Rapids, MI. Art Prize is an art showing held annually in Grand Rapids featuring artists' works from around the world in a variety of locations around the city.
Owens' and Crawley’s art features two 10”W x 10”D x 7’H aluminum and steel pillars with colored plastic panels that feature LED color changing lights lining the interior of the pillars. Accompanying the two pillars are several speakers that generate 12.2 stereo surround sound playing audio snippets of chimpanzees and opera singers. The fascinating concept of similar chromosomal and vocal chord structures of chimpanzees and humans is integrated into this installation making them simple yet complex sculptures. The banding on the color plastics of the pillar represents the chromosomal structures and vocal chords by the audio of opera singers and chimpanzees playing around the perimeter of the installation. The idea is that opera singing is the highest form of a human’s natural way of projecting sound, parallel to chimpanzees’ vocal chords, which are almost equally as advanced as humans’ in how they use them to project a variety of complicated sounds in order to communicate.
This labor-intensive process of actually going out and collecting these sounds shows the care and attention of Owens and Crawley. They visited The John Ball Zoo Society to record the chimpanzee sounds, and later viewed both Ohio and Indiana opera performances to record opera singers. With their recordings, they collaboratively altered and edited the sounds to sync with the light display projected from the interior of the sculptures.
If you wish to see first hand their completed installation in Grand Rapids, MI visit the city during Art Prize from September 24 - October 12.