Tajinder Dhami - Oscillation - Station - Bristol - 30 January - 28 February 2009

Station is on Phoenix Wharf in Bristol. If you cross the docks by the Arnolfini, and then turn left when you get to the other side, keep walking until you reach a small red bricked building. This is the tiny Station gallery, where Tajinder Dhami is currently exhibiting two new sound sculptures: Touch and Quadrophonic. Each sculpture has a selection of 'soundworks'. For this Dhami has collaborated with Jem Noble and Mr Major, combining field recordings in India with samples of Punjabi folk instruments, "electro-magnetic encodings and mind altering frequencies." [1]

First I tried Quadrophonic. This consisted of four speakers, suspended from the ceiling, a 'DIY Quad Unit', which surrounds you as you stand in the middle. Dhami selected a soundwork and told me afterwards, that it was the sound of burning sugarbeet. It actually sounded very abstract.

Then I tried Touch. I was advised to take off my shoes and to stand on the speaker unit in the centre of the room. Then he instructed me to lift my arms up, so that my fingers touched the speaker unit suspended from the ceiling. The soundwork he selected this time was of a train journey across India. The speakers vibrated, and you could feel the effect in your body. These sculptures are exploring 'Shravana', 'the ancient Indian act of perceiving sound' [2]

There is a hyper-continuity in this work between the artist, the sound system and works, and the 'subject'. "Tajinder's interest is in the occurence of such a sensation or effect, as opposed to the illusion of the image. Instead of the discrete frame of the image, he instead dissolves this within the notion of a field of continuous data (such as the flicker or vibration) that forms a loop through which the spectator is connected." [3]

The aesthetic is one which is oriented towards a lack of fixed identity or boundary, one that the flux of the vibrations questions through the very act of connecting.


[1] Postcard, Oscillation, Tajinder Dhami

[2] Postcard, Oscillation, Tajinder Dhami

[3] Tajinder Dhami : Other Frequencies, Jonathan Miles