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Elevator Music 5: Thomas Chupela

Elevator Installation, 2nd Floor Gallery Aferro
Curated by Juno Zago
July 14th – September 8th, 2018
Opening Reception July 14th 7-10pm @ Gallery Aferro

Thomas Chupela is a multimedia artist that works with sound, photography, and collage. For his sound work, he often transports sounds of the natural environment and everyday life into the “VC Environment” of synthesizers. Recent works include experimentation with various synthesizers and field recordings to construct new sonic landscapes intended to initiate altered perspectives on overlooked sounds related to the minutiae of everyday life.

Amoeba Rock is comprised of a field recording from the Ramapo Reservation in October 2016 mixed with instrumentation from a Moog synthesizer recorded in December 2017. It is the first installment of a collection of sound collages that are intended to create minimalist ambient soundtracks to the sounds of everyday life.

Elevator Music is a continuous rotation of experimental sound art curated for the permanent installation on the 2nd floor of Gallery Aferro. The installation is comprised of a very early Otis Elevator (single digit) from the early 1900s excavated from the basement of Gallery Aferro’s facilities at 73 Market Street. The elevator was cleaned up, refurbished, and equipped with a motion sensor activated media player. Guests enter the elevator and the audio-works are activated, analogous to the ways we may enter a functioning elevator ready to deliver us to our desired (or undesired) destination.

Elevator Music is a space where audio works can become accessible within a visual arts gallery experience. Over the years, the installation has taken on many forms, from musical mixtapes to experimental “studio sounds.” The original Elevator Music, Aferro Publication #17 juried by artist Adam Trowbridge, was intended for permanent loop in the Gallery’s freight elevator before the entombed passenger elevator was even discovered. Currently in it’s fifth iteration, Elevator Music has been curated by Spencer Frohwirth, Dahlia Elsayed, Jacob Lawrence Mandel, and Juno Zago. Entering Elevator Music brings the viewer to a new, personal space to listen and reflect on alternative forms of creative expression.