Pandit Pran Nath La Monte Young Marian Zazeela Jung Hee Choi Charles Curtis Terry Jennings Angus Maclise Richard Maxfield Just Alap Raga Ensemble The Theatre of Eternal Music Kirana Center Teaching Program

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La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, Jung Hee Choi Dream House, 2023
copyright © Jung Hee Choi 2023.  

La Monte Young     Marian Zazeela     Jung Hee Choi
Dream House
Sound and Light Environment

Extended exhibition at MELA Foundation
Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 2 PM - Midnight

MELA Foundation
275 Church Street, 3rd Floor, New York
T 917 603 9715
Admission: $10.00 

Dream House, a collaborative Sound and Light Environment, is presented in an extended exhibition by La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and Jung Hee Choi at MELA Foundation, 275 Church Street, 3rd Floor. The long-term Dream House exhibition opened in Fall 1993; it will continue for this season through June 20, 2025. The environment is open Wednesday through Saturday from 2 pm to midnight. Admission is $10.00.

To celebrate the thirtieth season of the MELA Dream House, we will be presenting the sound and light works from the original 1993 installation, as well as the premiere presentation of Choi's two light works and concurrent sound environment.

The current light environment features three works by Zazeela: Imagic Light and Magenta Day / Magenta Night, both of which were specifically designed for the MELA Dream House site, and one neon sculpture, Dream House Variation I. Zazeela describes Imagic Light: "Installations of Light consist of precisely positioned pairs of colored lights focused on symmetrically arrayed pairs of white aluminum mobile sculptures, causing the projection of colored shadows on the ceiling or walls of a room. Each mobile reflects the color of that portion of the spectrum represented by the light source focused directly on it, while the colors of the shadows cast by each mobile appear as the complement of the projected color mixed with the color of the paired light source focused on the adjacent mobile, all tempered by the eye's adaptation to the overall color field. Light and scale are manipulated in such a way that the colored shadows, in their apparent corporeality, can become virtually indistinguishable from the mobile forms, engaging the viewer in a continuing dialogue between reality and illusion."

Simultaneously, Choi presents the new configuration of two light works. The main gallery hosts her Light Point Drawings Nos. 27, 28, 29 and 30 with still lights. In the East Gallery, she presents Color (CNN/Twitch): live realization v.2. This piece offers multiple modalities of a single property, signifying the phenomenology of experience in constructing a sense of reality. The CNN and Twitch live feeds are projected onto a reflective wall and onto a fleeting smoke released by burning incense. The incomplete and fragmented live stream projections over the incense smoke deconstruct the representational construction of the news, apparently conveying no perceivable information, meaning, or objective basis for intrinsic value. Although the smoke causes the superimposed image to constantly change and transform, occasionally an observable image or crawling subtitle transiently suspended on the smoke can evoke an epiphany of the meaning of reality.

La Monte Young presents The Base 9:7:4 Symmetry in Prime Time When Centered above and below The Lowest Term Primes in The Range 288 to 224 with The Addition of 279 and 261 in Which The Half of The Symmetric Division Mapped above and Including 288 Consists of The Powers of 2 Multiplied by The Primes within The Ranges of 144 to 128, 72 to 64 and 36 to 32 Which Are Symmetrical to Those Primes in Lowest Terms in The Half of The Symmetric Division Mapped below and Including 224 within The Ranges 126 to 112, 63 to 56 and 31.5 to 28 with The Addition of 119, a periodic composite sound waveform environment created from sine wave components generated digitally in real time on a custom-designed Rayna interval synthesizer.

Young's sound environment is composed of frequencies tuned to the harmonic series between 288 and 224, utilizing numbers with factors of only 9, or those primes or octave transpositions of smaller primes that fall within this range. The interval 288/256 reduces to a 9/8 interval as does the interval 252/224. Thirty-two frequencies satisfy the above definition, of which seventeen fall within the range of the upper, and fourteen fall within the range of the lower of these two symmetrical 9/8 intervals. Young has arranged these thirty-one frequencies in a unique constellation, symmetrical above and below the thirty-second frequency, the center harmonic 254 (the prime 127 x 2).

At the opening of the 1993 Dream House installation, Young wrote: "This is my newest and most radical sound environment; the Rayna synthesizer has made it possible to realize intervals that are derived from such high primes that, not only is it unlikely that anyone has ever worked with these intervals before, it is also highly unlikely that anyone has ever heard them or perhaps even imagined the feelings they create."

In the concurrent sound environment, Choi's The Tone-field: perceptible arithmetical relations in a cycle of eight Indian raga scale permutations, 23 IX 23 - 24 VI 20, New York converts the East Gallery space into an audibly perceptible number-field that orbits through eight modal scales based on the ancient raga systems of India. The 24-hour cycle of The Tone-field will be recalculated daily to create a modal scale that is appropriate for the time of day corresponding to the movement of the Sun in New York. Choi writes: "The Tone-field is a time-and-space-specific sound environment where the arithmetic/musical structure and space are concomitant such that the space itself becomes the musical scale. The listener's body is completely enveloped by sound and shares its dimensions with the numerical structure of the present intervallic ratios. Any continuous movement of one's body causes a continuous modulation of the chords in the space."

The current installation is designed to provide a unique acoustic experience in the entrance passage space where Zazeela's Dream House Variation I light sculpture is located. Here, two sound environments, Young's The Base 9:7:4 Symmetry in Prime Time in the main gallery and Choi's The Tone-field in the East Gallery, merge and interact. The transitional acoustics of this space allow for the harmonious interplay of the frequencies from both sound environments.

Young and Zazeela write: "The Dream House was first conceived of in 1962 and sound and light environments were installed in Young and Zazeela's studio in the mid-'60s. The July 1969 Sound and Light Environment at Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Munich, was the first public short-term Dream House. Under a long-term commission from the Dia Art Foundation (1979-85), Young and Zazeela collaborated on a Dream House presentation at 6 Harrison Street, New York, set in a six-story building with a nine-story tower featuring multiple interrelated sound and light environments, exhibitions, performances, research facilities and archives."

MELA Foundation Dream House Sound and Light Environment at 275 Church Street, New York, now in its thirtieth year, is our longest installation to date. Since 1969, over 40 various incarnations of site-specific sound and light environment installations have been presented worldwide. The Regenbogenstadl Dream House in Polling, Bavaria, opened in 2000 and is intended to exist as long as possible. It has become very highly evolved, presenting a wide range of Dream House elements. The MELA Dream House and Regenbogenstadl Dream House both demonstrate the eternal evolution of the Dream House, a work 'with a life and tradition of its own' continuing into time with a capacity to propel itself by its own momentum.

Since 2015, the three artists, Young, Zazeela and Choi, have collaborated on numerous simultaneous sound and light environments, including Dia Art Foundation, New York, 2015; MELA Dream House in New York from 2018 onwards; Galerie l'elac in Lausanne, Switzerland, 2021 to 2022, and Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, Germany, 2022.