Soft Power (2015)
Rendering, CNC drawing, polystyrene foam, polyurethane foam, wood and aluminum
With Jonny Farrow and curated by Erin Toale
Three-dimensional and material representations of sound in various materials. Diffuser walls both are manifestations of sound and absorber sonic energy. All cartographic surfaces and drawings are to scale of original model, and in response to Audible Gallery.
Text from "Soft Power" (Erin Toale)
Soft power is a form of diplomacy characterized by enticement over antagonism that frequently manifests as dissemination of music, visual arts,
or related cultural gestures. Political scientist Joseph Nye, who coined the term, describes it as “the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments [which] arises from the attractiveness of a country’s culture, political ideals, and policies.” 1 In this exhibition, Jonny Farrow and Milad Mozari explore their shared interest in sound as a means of communication and political force while considering audible soft powers. They meditate on two vehicles of transmission; the former on the speaker itself and the latter on the sound that is being transmitted. Both work intimately in dialogue with their respective regional culture. Mozari currently resides in Chicago and Farrow in Abu Dhabi.
Inspired by the Muslim call to prayer and bespoke culture prevalent in the United Arab Emirates as well as the soft sculptures of Claes Oldenburg, Farrow presents non-functional public-address- style fabric speakers created as a multiple. The corporeal, handmade objects reflect his interest in small economies, politically imbued imagery, and the suggestion of sound and power that objects can invoke.
Mozari’s examination of sampling culture compels him to create material representations of sound. His algorithmically rendered walls function as both manifestations and absorbers of sonic energy. The machine-milled surfaces are cartograms of samples taken from music native to his current hometown and displayed in response to the space of Audible Gallery in modular form.
The presentation of these sound-oriented objects invites you to explore noise as a currency of exchange and medium of message.