Award-winning artist Jeff
Talman has created installations for the MIT Media Lab, The Kitchen, the City
of Cologne, Germany, bitforms, Eyebeam, Art Interactive, Art Omi and others. Self-reflexive
resonance, in which the inherent ambient resonance of an installation site becomes
the sole sound source for an artwork, is Talman's unique achievement. His installation
VANISHING POINT 1.1 (1999) was historically the first work to use this technique.
The New York Times, WIRED Magazine and other publications immediately recognized
the resulting installations.
Recent major awards include a 2006 Guggenheim
Foundation Fellowship in Sound Art and a 2003 New York Foundation for the Arts
Award in Computer Arts. Recent artist residencies include Yaddo, Saratoga Springs,
NY; the Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus in Schwandorf, Germany and the Åland
Archipelago Artist Residency in Kökar, Finland. Upcoming artist residencies
include the Rodriguez-Amat Foundation in Les Olives, Costa Brava, Spain and at
the Visby International Centre for Composers in Visby (a UNESCO World Heritage
Site), Gotland, Sweden.
Talman's video, sculptural and graphic work relates
to the nature of light and sound as primal radiant forces. Recent video includes
elemental spectral light projection, multi-faceted views of cathedral columns
and the mist of a simple human breath as framed by the sky. Large-scale steel
resonators, rods and aluminum plates are among the resources for recent sculpture.
Print media work includes spectrographic images of architectural spatial sounds
from important interiors including those recorded on site in the Temple of Dendur
in the Metropolitan Museum, NYC, the Temple of Debod in Madrid, the Pantheon in
Rome, Hagia Sofia in Istanbul and over 100 religious sites in Europe.
Talman was born and raised in Pennsylvania (USA) where he studied piano while
enjoyng a mostly idyllic youth filled with daily tramps in the woods, swimming,
bicycling and baseball. He attended and eventually taught and directed orchestras
at Columbia University and the City College of New York. Later he taught at the
Massachusetts College of Art. Training as a composer was with Jack Beeson, Chou
Wen Chung, Jan Meyerowitz and Lester Trimble.
He began shaping sounds with
computers in 1984. Two years later he produced and hosted a weekly show of new
music that continued to run for six years on WKCR-FM, New York City. At this time
he was also reviewing for EAR Magazine. In the 1990s his career path also
turned to educational and commercial audio with BR Productions in Manhattan, where
he orchestrated numerous works and directed the mastering of over one hundred
In 1996 his sound work moved from concert stage to the Anna
Kustera art gallery in Manhattan when a small video installation featured his
sound design. The mode of presentation spoke to him: later that year, feeling
bound by tradition and the formality of most classical music presentation, he
moved to Prague in the Czech Republic and explored alternative modes of expression.
After numerous trips to the Cathedral of St. Vitus, the building yielded a revelatory
moment. In the cathedral Talman began to first understand that ambient resonance
itself might possibly serve as a sound source and plastic art material. He returned
to New York in 1997 and began sound tests in Old Saint Patrick's Cathedral in
Little Italy, while working in the radio software industry for Dalet Digital Media
Systems, a part-time position he dropped in 1999 in order to devote more time
Today Jeff Talman's precedent-setting installations are featured
in museums, galleries, universities, religious buildings and other large, dramatic
and/or historic spaces. Often noted for their conceptual and visceral impact,
the installations offer an electrifying, sensual range of sound, light, gesture,
object, image and physical force. While urging the observer to a reevaluation
of the tactile, they introduce metaphor and underscore the physicality of space
through which sound emanates and soars.
With continuing artist residencies,
speaking engagements, panel discussions, colloquia, formal presentations of academic
papers and recent exhibitions in America, Europe and Asia, Jeff Talman is recognized
as an international artist of merit, an expert presenter and a staunch arts advocate.
Recent presentations were given before the International Society for Literature,
Science and the Arts in Paris, France; at Hamburg-Holzhauer Galerie in Hamburg,
Germany; at Art Interactive, Cambridge, MA; at panoramaART in Cologne, Germany
during World Youth Days, at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, before
the Society for Literature Science and the Arts, Chicago; for open-node Chicago;
at Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI and elsewhere.
in 2005 included three new installations for the SOUND MASS show, which was presented
by bitforms in Manhattan. Two other large-scale, new installations were also presented
simultaneously in Chicago: St. James Cathedral featured ABSOLUTE ELSEWHERE, and
IN TRANSIT was staged in the atrium of the InterContinental Hotel. Another new
installation, HEARING CURVED SPACE, was presented on the Baltic island of Kökar,
Åland, Finland. Additionally, his VOLUMINA-X, an indoor version of the VOLUMINA
EX-CATHEDRAL installation, was featured at panoramaArt in Cologne, Germany.
Talman lives and works in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and is represented in the states
by bitforms, NYC. He is an Assistant Professor at Emerson College in Boston where
he teaches Sound Composition, Installation and Time In Art.