Pauline Oliveros 

Born 1932 in Houston, TX
Lives and Works in Kingston, NY

Pauline Oliveros is an influential musician and a pioneering composer of electronic music with her early experiments with recordings on tape and feedback of live music as well compositions involving improvisation and communal performing. For the Whitney Biennial, she is presenting her Deep Listening Room, a sound and video installation centered on her theory that engaged, careful listening can expand consciousness. Using a specially programmed computer, the installation takes the feeds from a surround-sound microphone and video surveillance camera placed in the Museum’s Lobby gallery and transforms them, performing the inputs from visitors’ movements and activities like a musical score. This work is an example of what Oliveros calls an “Expanded Instrument System” which creates an improvisational environment  in which players—everyone from trained musicians to the casual observer—manipulate the feedback of the machine, linking the past sounds with the present moment.  As Oliveros has said, “what is expanded is temporal—present/past/future is occurring simultaneously with transformations. What I play in the present comes back in the future while I am still playing, is transformed, and becomes a part of the past. This situation keeps you busy listening.”

Works by Pauline Oliveros