Flat Earth Unfolded

by Rachel Chu

Staff Writer

Flat Earth Unfolded, an art installation by Greg Pond, Jesse Thompson, and Archie Stapleton, is now on display at the University Art Gallery. It will be up from October 17 to December 12, featuring ceramic vessels and metal plates created by Stapleton that resonate sound when paired with music composed by Jesse Thompson. Both Stapleton and Pond live and work in Sewanee, while Thompson currently lives in Los Angeles, California. Flat Earth Unfolded is the third collaborative sound installation between Pond and Thompson.

Upon entering the exhibit, visitors are greeted by large text reading, “Objects in this room are transmitting deconstructed sound designed in response to their material and shape. The intent is to create an acoustic sculpture that is both musical and spatially articulated while drawing attention to the physicality of sound and its inherent narrative power.” A Goethe quote underneath this states, “Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music.”

Five ceramic structures and two stainless steel plates resonate with the dissonant sounds of Thompson’s composition, in which incomprehensible words are spoken, or chanted, over sounds of chime-like instruments. On one side, a video of alternating black and white lines, almost resembling people, plays to the tune of the sound. The exhibit is almost Lynchian, strange and awe-inspiring at once. Paige Williams (C’17), described the exhibit as “a complete sensory experience.”

The University Art Gallery is on Georgia Avenue, next to Guerry Auditorium, and is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and noon – 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.