animum explorari – Jordan Knecht

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animum explorari is the most recent interdisciplinary print and sound installation by Denver-based artist, Jordan Knecht.   The site-specific installation will be exhibited at Leon Gallery from June 28, 2014 to July 26, 2014. It is a continuation and reinterpretation of a body of work, entitled, “The Relationship Between Printmaking and Sound”, which was installed in Amherst,  Massachusetts in 2012. 

For this site-specific installation, Knecht has built a room inside of Leon Gallery.  The room is obscured by black curtains running floor to ceiling. Patrons pass through the curtains and enter a small hallway. At the end of the hallway is a door. Patrons enter the installation  room through the door. The room is 12 feet tall with a 10 square-foot floor. The walls are entirely covered in wheat-pasted risograph photo-collages and then tiled together. The collages are created from remnants of inkjet prints of digital collages of ink-drawings on an intaglio print. At the center of the ceiling, dim light emanates from behind a large circular drawing. Speakers are hidden in the walls with different sound sources. In order to see details on the walls around them, patrons must use supplied handmade flashlights. When parts of the walls are illuminated, volumes of certain sound sources are affected. Although not all sound sources may be audible at the same time, they play on a continuous loop. Once each sound source has begun, they will not coincide again in the same manner for the duration of the exhibition. Monoculars are supplied so that patrons may see the details of the artwork on the ceiling. Magnifying glasses are also supplied so that patrons may more closely inspect the surroundings.

Space Considerations – Due to the space limitations of the exhibit, there is a limit of ten patrons allowed in the installation at a time. Patrons are encouraged to sign up for half-hour and hour slots in advance. Stop-ins are welcomed, but it is advised that priority goes to patrons who have already signed up. 

Exploration Kits – Before patrons enter the installation, they must trade some form of identification for an exploration kit. The kit contains a handmade flashlight, a monocular, a magnifying glass, and a 160-page book. 

– The book, entitled, ignoring the path, is a curated collection of writings which were composed over the course of four years on the borders of one of the main drawings in the installation. The writings serve as poetic/ suggestive access points into the visual and sonic environments. The book was written and designed by Jordan Knecht. It was risograph-printed in collaboration with Issue Press, a fine-art publishing company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

– The magnifying glass is supplied to encourage closer inspection of the surrounding environment. 

– The monocular is supplied to enable patrons to view the details of the artwork on the ceiling. 

– The flashlight is supplied to enable patrons to view the walls surrounding them (the installation is very dark). Each flashlight was handmade by Knecht. 

12-Hour Music Performance – On July 5, 2014, Jordan Knecht has curated a 12-hour improvised music performance in the site-specific installation from 10a.m. to 10p.m. Jordan will be performing along with Evergreen-based musician, Chaz Prymek, of the band Lake Mary, and Brooklyn-based sound artist, Nathan Wheeler. Other local musicians will be joining the performance throughout the day. The group will improvise in collaboration with the ever-evolving sound environment of the installation. Patrons will be encouraged to sign up for half-hour slots in advance. Donations ranging between $5-30 dollars are strongly encouraged, however no one will be turned away based on monetary limitations. There will be perks for different donation ranges. Stop-ins are welcomed, but it is advised that priority goes to patrons who have already signed up.

Commodities – There is a plethora of opportunities to purchase parts of animum explorari.

Donations are strongly encouraged before entering the exhibit. There are different perks based on different levels of donation. Perks include, but are not limited to, scrap collages from the walls, pre-orders of the lossless digital audio release of the 12-hour musical performance, the exhibition book (entitled, ignoring the path), 16×20” archival inkjet prints (original source material for the collages), exploration kits, 4×4’ inkjet reproductions of the ceiling circle, 2×4’ panels of the walls of the installation, and 4×8’ panels of the walls of the installation. Perks may be added or removed based on availability. 

Artist Statement – Below is the artist statement for animum explorari, which is featured in the book, ignoring the path.

“Sometimes the only real evidence of art and life are the patterns in the sediment they leave behind.  The sediment is manifested in a variety of mediums. The medium of the work presented in animum explorari is the sediment itself:  thoughts caught on paper moments before they dissolve, visual scraps gathered and piled together, melded moments of an auditory history, by-products of mindless working…

It is difficult to concisely explain four years of fleeting thoughts about disjointed bodies of work that have managed to find their ways into the same inhabitance. Overarching themes have anchored, only to be whisked away. 

Just as disparate drawn lines overlap to create exciting new composites, the seemingly disparate thoughts of this book may overlap to introduce different composite ideas.  You are encouraged to read in any order.  The overlapping ideas will hopefully serve as loose-handed guides with which to delve deeper. From there, you are free to explore as you wish. Please be considerate of the space you inhabit and enjoy.”