Toby Kaufmann-Buhler and Lexie Stoia

This work will address what we view as the span of human activity in sonic manipulation, from the prehistoric time of materials at hand to the present time. The mark of the human hand (and any human intervention) has become mostly invisible and integrated with “higher” technology, allowing a diffused approach to this manipulation.

On display is a set of four handmade instruments, made of materials that would have been available to our early ancestors. Touching actual wood, clay, stone and other materials restores some of the sensory energy, zapped by our ubiquitous digital tools. This is not mere nostalgia, but a consideration of the person on the receiving end, that whole person with more senses than can be activated by a touch screen. We have become so fascinated (and nearly merged) with this technology, but is there a cost in relation to what it means to be a human creator?

This project looks at how far we have traveled in the creation of sound and music with the aid of technology, and considers both “low” and “high” technology in this realm to be two sides of the same urge to interact with the sensory world and one another. We would argue that at a time when music can be completely automated and instruments can be completely synthetic, complexity can be found within interactions as basic as touching, feeling and listening.

Lexie Stoia builds exhibit electronics for Roto and is on the faculty of the Columbus College of Art & Design.



Toby Kaufmann-Buhler
My work is grounded in explorations of sensory perception on the one hand, and a kind of structuralist response to my own life and background on the other hand. A main source of inspiration are the methods developed by a number of film, video and media artists beginning in the mid-20th century, which interrogate and explore the burgeoning structure of perception established by the “new media” of cinema, video, television, sound, and more recently of computer-based media.