SFCA [isaw+subtropics] in collaboration with ArtCenter/South Florida

Olivia Block: Dissolution B

SAT JUL 8, 2017 | 9PM

ArtCenter/South Florida
924 Lincoln Road, 201
Miami Beach, FL 33139

In the traditions of “cinéma pour l’oreille and musique concrète” Dissolution B (2016 Glistening Examples) by Olivia Block, is an immersive cinematic sound piece with no screen or images. Presented in a dark theater space, Olivia Block processes and mixes and electronically processes layers of prepared sounds through a laptop, diffusion interface and mixing board.

Ephemeral and disorienting sonic textures originating from shortwave radio, municipal broadcasts, fragments of found microcassette tapes and organ tones surround the audience in a quadraphonic speaker array.

Block responds differently to the dimensions and acoustics of each performance space, changing the spatial diffusion for each concert during setup. She often rearranges or adds to the piece for each concert event, creating a slightly altered version for each new show.

Thematically, Dissolution is reflection upon human “webs of significance,” and an investigation into the ways that electronic communications technologies, both past and present, facilitate, complicate and transmute the formation of these webs.


Block’s work reflects her interests in site specificity, ethnographic sound and listening practices, found materials including recordings and texts, sound for cinema, and additional themes.

Block has performed, premiered and exhibited her work throughout Europe, America, and Japan in tours in festivals including Incubate (Tilburg), Festival del Bosque Germinal (Mexico City), Sonic Light (Amsterdam), Kontraste (Krems), Dissonanze (Rome), Archipel (Geneva) Angelica (Bologna), Sunoni per il Popolo (Montreal), and many others. Additionally, she has presented work at the ICA (London), MCA (Chicago), La Biennale di Venezia 52nd International Festival of Contemporary Music, The Kitchen (NYC), ISSUE Project Room and Experimental Intermedia (Brooklyn).

She has completed residencies and premiered works at Mills College of Music, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The Berklee College of Music. Block has presented talks at additional universities in film, music, media arts, and anthropology departments, including Yale University, University of Chicago, and Indiana University.

Block has created sound installations for public sites and exhibition spaces including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the library at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, the Lincoln Conservatory Fern Room in Chicago, and at the “Echoes Through the Mountains” exhibit at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.


Subtropics XXIV is possible with support from City of Miami Beach’s Cultural Affairs Program and Cultural Arts Council; with additional support from Miami-Dade County, Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; and sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and by the Blank Family Foundation. SFCA [isaw+subtropics.org] would also like to acknowledge the ongoing support of Sennheiser, leaders in superior sound technology. Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) supports Subtropics XXIV through the Program for the Internationalization of Spanish Culture (PICE).