INTERMEDIO photo by Ryan Back

Intermedio is Making the FotoFocus ArtHub an Audience-Controlled Aural-Visual Experience

July 26, 2018

For FotoFocus’s 2018 ArtHub—an inflatable pop-up project space—local creative studio Intermedio will create “In Place of Forgetting”: an interactive multi-channel audio-visual installation that explores “the contemporary overabundance of memory and its impact on the quality of the experiences we attempt to remember.”

A group of artists, designers, musicians, experimenters, and coders that engage audiences through the creation of aurally and visually immersive environments and performances, Intermedio’s founders Justin West and Sam Ferris-Morris met while studying music composition at Heidelberg University. In searching for people with architectural modeling and design backgrounds to collaborate with in Cincinnati, the two subsequently met multidisciplinary designer Eric Blythe in 2014 and began working on their first project as Intermedio in 2015.

The team was busy testing and fabricating forms for the final installation, (which opens October 3 in Washington Park) when The Lens chatted with them via email.

For Intermedio’s installation at the ArtHub, West says, “We were really fascinated with the topic of archives and collections, the power structures that come with them, the overabundance of information we seem to be suffering from, and the dissociation from the physical and the real that marks the modern archive.”

Because much of their work deals with literal and metaphorical interconnections, their pieces often employ what West refers to as “a multiplicity of sound sources in space to create new forms of emergent electro-acoustic music which often involves tactile interaction, group improvisation, and audience participation.”

Intermedio’s installation takes on FotoFocus’s 2018 theme Open Archive via sculptural renderings of a private collection of historic postcards, and field recordings related to the archive of materials. Audio snapshots inside the voice boxes become according to the artists, “a kind of communal musical instrument-orchestra under the audiences’ control.”

Experimenting with musical instruments is not new to the group, who perform together as a musical outgrowth of Intermedio under the name “Knee Play.” An outlet for the members to explore their interests in collaborative and experimental musical performances and compositions, Knee Play re-contextualizes and repurposes any kind of contraption that can be made to make a sound—so it makes perfect sense for Intermedio to create an installation for the ArtHub that encourages visitor engagement in creating their own audio-visual compositions.

“We hope they will take away some new appreciation for an experience that is different than the many passive forms of entertainment we are constantly bombarded with,” West writes. “As well as an appreciation for listening as part of an ensemble.”

Oct. 3–7, Free and open to the public, Washington Park