• Lea Springstead

Vessel Orchestra - Oliver Beer

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

Oliver Beer reframes the contextual significance of 32 sculptures selected for their resonating frequency in his installation art piece “Vessel Orchestra”. Objects from the MET’s collection were selected by Beer for their resonating frequency, so that when fed into a mixer produced a specific note.

By “playing” the sculptures their cultural and historical significance morphed from text book reference to contemporary philosophical imperative.

The world is constantly emerging from the confines of the antiquated consciousness of the past. Unlike the defeatist dogma of post-modernity that suggests human consciousness has exhausted creative invention, “Vessel Orchestra” creates new dimensionality for the identity of works to occupy.

Beer describes the effect of “Vessel Orchestra” as “a leveling of the aesthetic and cultural playing field”, which forces the observer into a higher octave of perception. In art, where does value accumulate beyond the aesthetic and cultural barometer? Tonality, as a quantifiable factor in “Vessel Orchestra”, brings into focus the vibratory nature of the reality that we live in.

Reality as we know it is constructed from specific vibrations, from the components of string theory, to the oscillations of the atomic bonds of greenhouse gasses that trap short wave radiation (warming the atmosphere), to the single engine air plane that files overhead on a warm August morning, while a lawn mower drones a few lots over, and the cicadas and crickets that pierce the air with their vibratory compulsive matting song.

Re-framing sculptural works based on their tonal significance both expands upon the identity of the works, and compels the world to acknowledge the identity of its vibratory nature. Incorporating the significance of vibration into perception reveals previously hidden dimensions of perception, here we find the long-concealed trap door to the evolution of modernity and consciousness.

The expanded identity of the 32 sculptures provides and instantaneously unifying sense of humanity. The soft tones played from the sculptures eclipse one’s sense of history, culture and the significance of. Amid the phonic hues extracted from the vessels, we are suspended in a world where the cultural ego ceases to exist. Yet without the identity of the past, there exists an identity of the present, and it is undefeated and as unbridled as we allow it to be, despite what we think we know.

The decaying period of postmodernity is a necessary time of the containment of consciousness, a sort of recharging station that has nearly absorbed all of the power reservoir needed for proportion into the next phase of art consciousness and creativity.

Oliver Beer gently introduces the possibilities of the future of art consciousness with “Vessel Orchestra”. Our cultural subservience to the postmodern narrative, as demonstrated by metamodernity’s inexorable connection to postmodernity, can be mitigated and eventually delegitimized by looking to the east at sunset with the hopes of a new day, despite knowing that the sun rose there yesterday.

Or perhaps the de-legitimizing of postmodernity will allow for the abandonment of the strategy of utilitarian consciousness, and what happens outside of strategy? Growth, destruction, both? Regardless of the outcome, we are meeting our future.

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