an audio/visual art collaboration by Oliver Barrett and Björn Bauer

click "play" to start the soundtrack:
Visual artist Björn Bauer and musician Oliver Barrett present a new audio/visual exhibit highlighting the wildly successful symbiotic collaboration between plants and fungi as they contribute to the thriving of all earthly life. By drawing attention to the powerful impact of working cooperatively, rather than competitively, we aim to challenge the commonly accepted notion that the only way to succeed is through dominating our competition, aiming to impart a sense of hope and optimism to our visitors. We will craft an exhibit which will combine abstract visual and auditory tones and textures to evoke a sense of the vibrance and complexity of the commonly overlooked and misunderstood lifeforms at work around us, as well as the dynamic interactions between them. This experience will invite the audience to consider the power of interconnection.
The exhibit will consist of a series of 10 medium-sized paintings (max 140cm on the longest side) with an accompanying soundtrack delivered through an array of loudspeakers. The painted works will employ layered textures that reference both the digital and natural world, and blur the lines between them. The images will be sequenced to show a gradual transition from a more synthetic or digital experience to a more natural or organic sense of interconnection. Each painting will be paired with a speaker, placed either below or above the visual image, which will emit a discreet monaural soundtrack. The individual sound elements will be designed to interact harmoniously with the sounds emitting throughout the room. The exhibit space will therefor be filled with dynamically blending visual and auditory images. The exhibit will include accompanying text, through a brochure and wall placards, giving contextual information and expanding upon the theme of the exhibit.
The creation of the sounds and pictures themselves will be achieved through a symbiotic process, where ideas are exchanged and applied in a step-by-step manner to bring each artwork to fruition. The images directly influence the sounds, and the sounds directly influence the images. In their final presentation, the works can be experienced through both seeing and hearing, thereby allowing two distinct sensual elements to enhance one another. The exhibit space will resemble an ecosystem teeming with life, as sounds emanate from above, below, and every direction, while the eye is drawn through scenes of vibrant colors and textures.

Oliver Barrett
Oliver Barrett is a musician and illustrator based in Somerset, UK. He releases music under his own name, as well as Petrels, Sun Do Silver, Glottalstop, Sphagnum Moss, and many more besides. As a composer he has had work commissioned by the BFI, London Word Festival and the Southbank Centre amongst others. A multiinstrumentalist, Oliver's musical practice ranges from solo electronics, acoustic provisation, band work, and sound art, to orchestral arrangements and song, drawing influences from a broad spectrum. Over the past decade he has shared a
stage with the likes of Jóhann Jóhannsson, Tim Hecker, FIRE!, Nate Young (Wolf Eyes), Trouble Books, Demdike Stare, Nadja, and Hans-Joachim Roedelius (Cluster).

“Petrels sidesteps the chilliness found in much of the music of his peers, replacing it instead with an almost spiritual ecstasy, his ravishing synths and almost choral vocal treatments calling out in cosmic, wide eyed wonder at the universe.”
– Paul Margree, Louder Than War

Björn Bauer
Björn Bauer is an exhibiting painter, printmaker, illustrator, and art instructor born in Nürnberg, Germany in 1980. In 1988, he moved with his family to the Philippines and spent the rest of his childhood in Southeast Asia, including Cambodia and Malaysia. He has been making images for as long as he can remember; everything that interested him became inspiration for a drawing or painting. He moved to Oklahoma in 2000, and graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelors in Fine Art and Education in 2005. Holding his first solo exhibit of paintings at IAO gallery in Oklahoma City in 2006, Björn has also worked as an art educator for over twelve years at the secondary and collegiate levels. Branching out into illustration and printmaking, he has shown at SXSW and Pitchfork Music Festival, and created poster and album art for major touring musicians. In 2019 he earned his MFA in painting from the University at Albany in New York. He now lives in Munich, Germany.