Sound has always been Jenn Karson’s medium. Karson first became known around Burlington, VT in her twenties as the lead singer of the all-female alternative pop band Zola Turn, one of the best-known acts to come out of the Queen City in the 1990s. Now she’s an installation artist, a lecturer at the University of Vermont’s Department of Art and a co-founder of the art & technology collective Vermont Makers.
She exhibits Sound Structures and Listening Architectures in museums, galleries and non-traditional places of display. She’s a frequent invited speaker on the subject of bridging art and technology and her art practice includes hosting participatory workshops. She has exhibited and been invited to speak in the U.S., Canada, Sweden and Paris. She received her MFA in Design + Technology from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2008 and her BA in Political Science from the University of Vermont.
My current work re-imagines Listening Structures and Sound Architectures.
Listening Structures are built structures that listen. Sound Architectures are places that shape sound. At the core of these experiments, which take the form of 2D, 3D , installation and participatory workshops, the dynamics of call and response communication is at play. For example, iconic architectures, like bell towers, are reimagined and then reconstructed to incorporate ideas from smart architecture and the more democratic communication we’ve come to expect in the 21st century. These pieces don’t just call out a response or message, they are designed to respond and react to a public.
Iterations and experiments are visually tracked and scored over time, geometries are remapped, imploded and blown apart. Sounds and architectures are pulled apart by hand and reassembled with digital fabrication and parametric uncertainty.
My work re-imagines sound structures and listening architectures; it is playful and takes the form of installation, 2d and 3d art, and participatory workshops.