Aeronaut Brewery is Somerville’s first craft brewery in more than a century. Step inside their hoppy hallways this Saturday, though, and the positivity of its cofounders takes second place to something even more radiant: science-bending sound objects.
Meet Nickolas Peter. The designer and curator is the brilliant mind behind Curious Sound Objects, a series of shows themed around collections of magical “sound objects” — sculptures or installations that make sound — which spark conversation about how things feel rather than how they work. The upcoming third installment, The Space Between, evokes thoughts of intervals and silence, aka that space between people, bodies, and minds. Think teddy bears suspended in jars of Jello and orange triangles as padded echo chambers.
“There is a very fertile community of people here working on electronics and various fabrication methods, and many that use sound in a creative way,” Peter says enthusiastically, “so why not take the things being made, give them the space they need, light them properly, and have an art show?”
Since most of the works are interactive objects, the event ends up being just as much about touching and seeing as it is about hearing. “Japanese artist and designer Kenya Hara made the claim that the strict verbal separation of our senses may not be so accurate, and I agree with him,” says Peter. “After all, you eat with your eyes as much as your mouth, and sound is a vibration of air in space and is about touch as well.”
An art show where the works are playable solves issues of hyper sterile detraction and emotional detachment. The naturally ever-changing characteristics of sound itself help redefine the frigidity modern art has come to represent. “It’s easier for our brains to chunk away something that is purely physical because we can see where it starts and ends,” Peter explains. “We see a car, think ‘car’, and move on. But sound is only experienced in the now.”
Emotionally speaking, The Space Between has been a growing process for Nickolas Peter to be comfortable with the unknown. “Since each show is a call for new work, the submissions range from already finished works to just ideas that someone might have been cooking for a while,” he says. “I now understand how my parents must have felt when I would stay out late. Sure, everything is probably going to be fine, but there’s an inherent feeling of things being up in the air until it all comes together — and it always does.”
If the contributions that explore sensuality, boundaries, resonances, and emotions overwhelm you, turn around and grab a beer. There’s a reason this is at a brewery and not an art gallery. “The DNA of Aeronaut includes becoming a cultural institution,” says Peter. “They’re exceptionally successful at what they do, and their contribution to the city is immeasurable.”
Sound object submissions closed already, so your chance to slip your weirdest sonic creations in has passed, but you can reap the benefits of others’ absurd entries instead. Science is kind like that. Expect a welcoming mix of sounds, forms, and people where your very own presence contributes to the exhibit’s science as much as the installations do themselves. Now raise your glass and repeat after us: To science!
CURIOUS SOUND OBJECTS VOL III – THE SPACE BETWEEN. SAT 6.27. AERONAUT BREWING COMPANY, 14 TYLER ST., SOMERVILLE. 617.987.4236. 6PM/21+/FREE. CURIOUSSOUNDOBJECTS.COM