WPA is pleased to present Score for Room, an experimental music notation by the Baltimore-based artist Sara Dittrich. The multimedia work recalls a range of historical precedents, from Allan Kaprow’s happenings and Alvin Lucier’s sound works, to the notational experiments of such Czech artists as Jan Sagl and Vladimir Havlik.
Dittrich has transformed WPA into a participatory performance and composition studio. The entire floor is covered in enlarged staff paper. Along one wall in the otherwise empty gallery is a guitar amplifier. As visitors walk the gallery, the sound of their footsteps is picked up by hidden floor sensors and emitted by the amp, producing a sonic architectural landscape. As Dittrich has written, “These works investigate communal aspects of music creation, and give a renewed awareness of the body to the viewer.” Over time, visitors’ footprints will mark and soil the paper, leaving a written record.
On two occasions, the musician Benjamin Buchanan will perform on his toy piano. The first time is during the opening reception, when he will interpret visitors’ movements in relationship to the still largely blank stave paper. During the closing reception, he’ll translate the score underfoot into an audible composition.
About the ArtisTS
Sara Dittrich (b. Cincinnati, 1991) is an interdisciplinary artist living and working primarily in Baltimore. She creates objects, installations, and performances using the forms of musical instruments and interactive electronic technologies to investigate the dynamic acts of listening, communicating and moving. She received her BFA in interdisciplinary sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and has exhibited her work in numerous shows including a solo exhibition at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has also exhibited her work internationally in the Czech Republic where she studied at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague with the sculpture studio headed by Dominik Lang. She received the 2013 Beers Contemporary Award for Emerging Art and has been awarded residencies at Sculpture Space, Vermont Studio Center, and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.
Benjamin Buchanan (b. 1989) has been described by the three-time Nobel prize nominated poet, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, as a “most quickly enflaming young composer.” He is a Baltimore-based, beat-boxing toy pianist, composer, and performance artist. He holds Master of Music degrees in Music Composition and Music Theory Pedagogy from the Peabody Conservatory and teaches private composition lessons at the Peabody Preparatory. He can be seen performing throughout the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas as well as with the Maryland Choral Society for which he is the pianist and at St. Marks-on- the-Hill Episcopal Church where he serves as organist and music-director.
January 6 – February 11, 2017
Washington Project for the Arts
2124 8th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001