José Manuel Costa (Madrid,1949) is a critic and curator of visual and sonic arts. He started his career combining radio broadcasts in “Onda 2 FM” in Madrid and “RNE Radio 3” (Spanish National Radio), with critical reviews about music and contemporary art in the newspaper “El País” (National Critics Award, 1981). After directing the first radio of this media corporation, he worked as deputy editor in chief for the magazine “La Luna de Madrid”. After that he ended up in the newspaper “ABC” as a critic of visual arts, where he founded, together with Catalina Luca de Tena, the arts supplement of the newspaper. He then spent thirteen years as a correspondent for ABC in Berlin and London, cities where he continued developing his critical and curatorial activities.
After his return to Spain he went on to found the culture section in the “Público” newspaper. He currently works as a freelance critic and curator (Synesthesia Festival, Sound Art exhibition Madrid …). He is also Chairman of the Council of Critics and Curators of Visual Arts.
WORKSHOP: MARCH 1 – 2 2011, 17:00-21:00 h
Sound Art is one of the New Artistic Practices based on the technologies developed in the last hundred years. Among these technologies are film / video; digital generation of images and sounds; recording, preservation and reproduction of these sounds; the control of light in different ways … These tools have a common characteristic that separates them from other material practices, such as painting, sculpture, printmaking or even photography, in one fundamental way: they no longer work as just presence, but they develop over time and thus open the doors to sound and movement. Although it was probably always an intellectual construct, the idea that a work of art is a being “in itself”, something almost metaphysical, explodes to give way to reality: the experience of the audience becomes the focus sine qua non of events. Within these New Practices, the cluster of proposals that we have grouped under the name Sound Art is perhaps one of the most developed, together with the practice of the video-installation. Furthermore, by emphasizing something so scarcely retinal as the sound, it allows its union with very different visual aspects that permits many artworks to be highly multifaceted and having the potential to be experienced from multiple perspectives. In this seminar we will carry out a historical overview of Sound Art, including those crucial moments where the sound went on to become an inseparable part of the artwork. Sound Art will thus be looked upon under different points of view: as the purely aural; as installation / sculpture; in relation to its relevance for radio or to performances based on acoustic phenomena; in architecture; in field recordings and sounscapes soundscapes… Sound Art tends to be as ephemeral as the rest of the new art practices. It can nevertheless -and often does- find a diffusion through recordings, sometimes with a soundtrack appearance, but this is typically more of a conceptual reference to the actual sound work. The seminar will be illustrated by an extensive audio-visual presentation that aims at providing an overall idea of different works, that, as mentioned above, need anyway to be experienced. Participants will receive a text on Sound Art via e-amil, intended as an aid for individual preparation and also as the general framework of the seminar. Each daily session will be divided into an approximately 3-hour presentation (with a break), plus an hour for questions, discussions, etc. This basic structure can be adapted according to the participants, leaving at the end of the second day a longer time for discussion.