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bitforms gallery is pleased to announce Peter Vogel’s first New York solo exhibition in over 20 years. Accompanying the exhibition are two rare musical improvisations by the artist played on Rhythm of Shadow, a thirteen-foot sonic sculpture. On the exhibition’s closing day, there will be two original compositions performed by the MEI-BE Whatever dance company.
Peter Vogel (b. 1937, Germany) is a pioneer in the field of interactive electronic sculpture. He was formally trained in Physics, but has explored technology’s intersection with dance, musical composition and visual art since the late 1960s. Vogel’s minimalist musical compositions share territory with that of Detroit techno, Phillip Glass and Steve Reich, where variations and increasing complexity result from the addition or negation of repetitive phrases.
This exhibition highlights new work by Peter Vogel in addition to covering the range of his production since the early 1970s.
Vogel’s interest lies in both interactive and musical structures. His is an active art that encourages viewers to discover communication structures through repeated interaction. Red, green, and blue light-emitting diodes, wire, photo cells, bare speakers, resistors and capacitors are the raw materials with which Peter Vogel crafts audiovisual constellations. The interactive sensitivity of Vogel’s constructions utilizes photocells and microphones that react to spectators, creating an experience of seeing and hearing unique improvisations triggered by light and shadow. Merging form and function, the delicate electronic circuits in Vogel’s artworks are elegantly arranged. Electronic logic of each sculpture is determined through circuitry, but the reactions may sometimes feel random because of their sensitive dependence upon the time patterns of input.
The work of Peter Vogel has been collected by public institutions including ZKM, Karlsruhe; the Museum for Concret Art, Ingolstadt; both the Wakayama Museum of Modern Art and Joshibi Art Museum in Japan, and Rijksmueum Twenthe in the Netherlands. Vogel has exhibited at the Berlin Academy of Arts; Ars Electronica; ZKM in Karlsruhe; Musee d’Art Contemporain in Lyon; Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canada; Ruhrland Museum, Essen; the Goethe-Institute in Uruguay and numerous galleries throughout Europe, the United States, Japan, Korea and Canada. He has participated in group shows including Scratch Code at bitforms, New York; Ecoute in 2004 at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and Les Machines Sentimentales there in 1986; and Chance as Principal in 1992 at the Wilhelm Hack Museum of Ludwigshafen, Germany. The last hardcover catalog of his work was published in 2000 by the Museum for Concret Art, Ingolstadt.