Curtis Tamm

  • Atist In Residence2017
  • Born in1987 in USA
  • NationalityUSA
  • PeriodAugust 25 – December 12, 2017 (110 days)
  • Website
For the residence in ARCUS

As a synthesization of my engagement with earthquakes in Japan, I developed Center for Cellular Alignment; built from the fundamental perspective that accidents are the shape beyond systems, CFCA offered those interested in re-visioning their relationship to seismic phenomena, with intimate and disorienting 'experiential lectures'.
The project in its rhizomatic parts approaches sound as an inherently fractal phenomena, whereby one can physically access large-scale seismic events through even the smallest of noises and sound waves.
As a way to speculate upon how cities siren infrastructure may be utilized for purposes of deep-listening as well as signal warning, I developed a library of siren candidates specific to sounds in Japan; ranging from ultrasonics of cicadas and other-worldly “pachinko” melodies, to the seductive chanting of “itakos” (Japanese Shamans) in rural Aomori, to the screaming and stomping of the local kendo club in Moriya, Ibaraki. After a three months of making and gathering, a few candidates began to really stand out. I worked with a dozen Buddhist temples throughout Kyoto, Tokyo and Ibaraki prefecture to record and play with the frequencies of “bonsho” (multi-ton, ancient temple bells). By spatializing the listener's body within the 'womb' of these “bonsho” recordings (utilizing a multi-channel speaker array to simulate their precise center), along with the accidental interference from other candidates in the sound-library, Center for Cellular Alignment functioned as a social space where listening deeply may be used as a tool for understanding seismicity.

Born 1987 in California, USA, Tamm received his MFA in 2014 from the University of California Los Angeles, Design Media Arts. He works primarily in sound, film and video. His work also takes the form of live performance and lecture performance. In his unique cross disciplinary practice, Tamm engages the subtlety of natural phenomena, geophysics and geology, and creates visual/sound works based upon intimate engagements with the non-human world.

[Selected Exhibitions and Activities]
2017 Recipient of LACMA's Art + Techonology Lab Award
2016 “The Viscous Shape”, with Skaftfell Center for Visual Art & GPL Walker Geology Center, East Iceland. Collaboration with Hermione Spriggs
2016 “Balancing the Stone”, Titanik Gallery, Turku, Finland
2016 “Flatlander”, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
2015 “Tympanic Tether”, The Santozeum, Santorini, Greece

Reasons for Selection
I was impressed by the unexpected contrast between the content of his unique research, which included minerals, tornadoes, volcanoes, geothermal energy and animism, and the final forms of his pieces. He has an ability to tastefully convert intellectual and theoretical topics into works that speak to the viewers’ senses. Tamm has demonstrated that he is an adept collaborator, through his experience as a research assistant to scientists, and his proposal of a collaborative project with scientific research institutions. I expect him to actively seek collaborators and discover new themes for his research during the residency at ARCUS Project.

Kenichi Kondo

Selected WorksShow Image
ActivitiesShow Image
Open StudiosShow Image

Resident Artists 2017

Julieta Aguinaco & Sarah Demoen  <Mexico & Belgium>

Daniel Nicolae Djamo  <Romania>

Curtis Tamm  <USA>