Convergent Frequencies highlights urban geography this weekend
By Susannah Darrow
Artist Matt Haffner and his assistant prepare shipping crates for this weekend’s opening of Convergent Frequencies at the intersection of Krog and Irwin streets.
i45 will once again challenge our understanding of the role of traditional galleries with their new public art installation, Convergent Frequencies, opening this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 17-19, from 6PM-12Midnight. The three-day event combines the talents of Matt Haffner, Nat Slaughter, and Matt Gilbert. The Skies Over Atlanta project, which graced a small church in the midst of the Inman Park Festival, gave us our first taste of what happens when creative minds move outside of the confines of white walls and into their neighborhood’s surroundings. i45 is a collective of art spaces including Whitespace, Barbara Archer Gallery, Henley Studios, and Wm Turner Gallery.
The project’s title, Convergent Frequencies, serves a dual purpose. The geographical location at the corner of Krog Street and Irwin Street converges at the borderline between the Inman Park and Old Fourth Ward neighborhoods. The event is also a convergence of differing artistic media that the three artists combine in a harmonious coalescence. Haffner’s visually striking portraits and architectural silhouettes compliment audio field recordings by Slaughter, which will be played inside the 40-foot shipping crates that also serve as “canvases” for Haffner’s designs. A video installation and instrumental performance by Gilbert will be a bonding force for the three components.
The installation will combine audio and visual components. Photo by Sandy Hooper.
Much like Skies Over Atlanta, this is an installation that draws much of its appeal from its location. Each component specifically references elements of its immediate geography. Haffner has pulled from familiar buildings in the neighborhood that have taken on a more universal aesthetic in their abstraction. Slaughter’s field recordings were collected during walks he has taken around the neighborhood and provide a poetic context to Haffner’s visual elements. The field recordings comprise three binaural sound installations with supplemental materials to describe the mapping component of the project. Gilbert has created a video that describes the separation of color and music in the optical and hearing systems of the human brain. Although not the immediate intention, Gilbert’s work gives the audience a notion of the more specific elements of Haffner and Slaughter’s works and how they merge to form our understanding of these spaces.
Although Gilbert’s artist statement is intended to speak to his individual intent, his words also speak well to the spirit of Convergent Frequencies as a whole: “The city is filled with people, groups, and institutions working independently, sometimes together and sometimes at odds, yet the city seems to have a distinct identity. We talk about `Atlanta’ as if it exists in a consistent, discrete, and identifiable form. Selective Disturbance [Gilbert's video installation] splits images of the city and the performers into movement and color, investigates them as independent components, and recombines them.”
The opening for Convergent Frequencies will be held this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 17-19, from 6PM-12Midnight, with a dance and instrumental performance at 9PM each night. The event is free and open to the public. The Good Food Truck will be on site to feed the masses.