Artist reception for Ayako Ono’s Rice Public Art BRC pop-up gallery installation July 11

MEDIA ADVISORY

David Ruth
713-348-6327
david@rice.edu

Jeff Falk
713-348-6775
jfalk@rice.edu

Artist reception for Ayako Ono’s Rice Public Art BRC pop-up gallery installation July 11

HOUSTON – (July 3, 2013) – Rice Public Art is featuring a pop-up gallery installation, “Space Musical Instruments,” by Japanese artist Ayako Ono. A luncheon reception and conversation with the artist will be held Thursday, July 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the university’s BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC) at 6500 Main St. The pop-up gallery is located in the BRC’s first-floor lobby and the installation will run through mid-July.

“Space Musical Instruments” is a video of unique musical instruments created by Ono and recorded on the International Space Station (ISS) to explore the performance of musical instruments in outer space. Ono designed and worked with metal artist So Negishi to create two objects specifically capable of being played in zero gravity: Ellipsoid Bell and Fractal Bell. Each are named for their structural shapes and are artfully captured in the video.

In the video, NASA astronaut Daniel Burbank, Expedition 30 commander, acted as a musician working in collaboration with two composers, Akira Takahashi and Jaakko Saari, on board the ISS. His hands can be seen fading in and out of the camera’s view. Ellipsoid Bell and Fractal Bell behaved distinctively in zero gravity. Fractal Bell, for example, would appear lopsided with a gravitational force present, yet is observed as perfectly balanced when activated on the ISS, installation organizers said. Because the resonant parts of the instruments are freely floating, the resonance is not dampened by contact with other parts of the instrument, and thus a very clear and wind chime-like sound is produced.

Ono is currently an intern with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSRBI), which is located at the BRC. She began her study of instruments in weightlessness during her tenure as an artist in residence at the European Space Agency. Installation organizers said that as Ono continues her experimentations, she hopes playing these instruments will enliven and enrich the quality of life for those on board the International Space Station and for those on longer-duration missions.

Rice Public Art is hosting the exhibition in collaboration with the NSRBI.

The BRC pop-up gallery is an opportunity for Rice Public Art to further its interdisciplinary mission and partnerships, both throughout the university and the Houston community. For more information about Rice Public Art, visit http://publicart.rice.edu/.

The July 11 event is open to the public and food will be provided for those who RSVP on or before July 5 to Emily Stein at ems12@rice.edu. Those who were unable to RSVP may bring their own refreshments. Parking is available in the BRC garage located on Dryden Road between Main Street and Travis Street.

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About Jeff Falk