Son et Lumiere
An Exhibition
Volunteer Park Archeologies (see documentation) 6:00
at the Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle (see Garden Stories Film) 48:10
by Dan Senn with Ken Slusher (see 2001 website) (see "Just Minne" on YouTube)
Son et Lumiere: Volunteer Park Archeologies was held at the Volunteer Park Conservatorium in of March in 2001 and continue for three weeks with the Over'lyre remaining in place permanently.  Video monitors and kinetic instruments are placed amidst plants throughout the Conservatorium will continuously play a composition for voice, percussion, and moving audience.  Spoken sounds will consist of plant and gardening experts divulging pre-chemical secrets of gardening, canning, seed gathering, and related life stories.  These will be presented over 20 color and monochrome video monitors and act as a visual-spoken counterpoint to the light beating of Dan Senn's pendulum-based sculptural instruments. Interviews will be collected at the homes of regional gardeners in the fall of 2000.  The installation will coincide with the opening of the Gardens of Art  exhibit at the nearby Asian Art Museum and developed with assistance from the V. P. Conservatorium and the Friends of the Conservatorium.

A goal of this project is to provide experimental art within contexts uniquely accessible to new audiences.  As long time gardeners, both artists are interested and comfortable documenting the stories of gardening experts, but there is an ulterior motive; one which is based on the conviction that new, and risky  art,  if considerately placed, is especially understandable to those who work with their hands.  And this defines one of our target audiences. By holding this exhibition cooperatively with the Conservatorium, the regular Conservatory guests will experience the new work, but it will also attract audiences interested the stories, or just in those being interviewed, and/or those interested in the sound, video and aesthetic aspects. Through a broader appeal, we expect the installation to be of mutual benefit to the Conservatory, community and to art world itself.
s a sound artist living in a small village near Prague, The Czech Republic. .

Exhibition Drawing
(click drawing to enlarge)

2001 Press Release

Son et Lumiere: Volunteer Park Archeologies

March 20 thru April 8, 2001, Volunteer Park Conservatory, 1400 E. Galer St., Seattle, WA 98112, 10a-4p daily, free

Son et Lumiere: Volunteer Park Archeologies is an exhibition of multichannel video and kinetic instruments presented by photographer Ken Slusher (Seattle) and sound artist Dan Senn (Tacoma). At timed intervals, 16 video monitors, accompanied by Senn's elegant sculptural instruments, will come to life in a spatial composition of story telling and light percussion amidst the beautiful greenery of the Conservatory.

Over the past 6 months, the artists have gathered the stories of eleven gardeners, ages 35 to 95, who carefully explain their methods of gardening, canning, and general frugality-methods and stories which reach back to the 19th Century. Those interviewed are Catherine Armstrong (Boise), Helen Forsyth (Seattle), Ed and Keith Keener (Boise), Arleta Sanders (Tacoma), Fred, Barbara and John Engsfer (Orting), Lois VanMeer (Federal Way), Minne Holzmeyer (Portland), and Jacki Evans (Tacoma).

Dan Senn is a sound sculptor, composer and video artist with an international record of exhibitions, performances and radio broadcasts. Senn's work is currently on show as part of an international Fluxus show at Gallery 400 in Chicago. In 1998-99, he was the first artist-in-resident for the UW-Tacoma which included commission of a permanent sculpture for Tacoma's new campus. In 1998 he was awarded the first prize at the Papier 7 Festival in Düren, Germany, just one of four 1998 European exhibitions which included the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

In 1997, he was presented the President's Award from the Artist Trust for his contribution to the arts of the region. In 1995, he was awarded the McKnight Composer-in-Residence Award for the State of Minnesota where he was responsible for the rural cave installation, The Catacombs of Yucatan. Much of Senn's work in the 1990s has focused on the problem of elitism in contemporary art culminating in his recent article from Cambridge University Press titled "Pendulum-based Instruments, Percussive Video, Sound Art, and the Permanence of Ephemeral Public Art."

Ken Slusher is a collector, curator, gallerist, gardener, folk musician, photographer and budding video artist. Known for his large format black and white photography, which he has used to document much of high rise construction work in downtown Seattle, his work includes Northwest landscapes and an ongoing series of innovative artist portraitures which document regional artists within their work environment. As an art collector for the past 32 years, Ken has developed extensive collection of antiquities from the Orient, New Guinea and Africa that balance a broad collection of contemporary art. In 1999, he was recipient of a Project Grant from the Tacoma Art Commission to photograph the rebuilding and renovation of the Thea Foss Waterway. His work has been exhibited at the Penelope Loucas Gallery and the Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, at the Community Art Gallery in Ellensburg, the Blue Heron Gallery, Vashon and at numerous other regional venues. Ken owns and operates Open Mondays, a Seattle gallery.

The photo banner above is of Minne Holzmeyer, 96, in her Oregon kitchen discussing the details of making sauer kraut. A stand alone video of Minne can be seen here.