Super Deep Healing Noise ✧ Sun Tunnels (120 Seconds)
Graham Wiebe & Nancy Holt
Curated by Ben Sang
Final Hot Desert
Great Basin Desert, UT
January 10, 2023

︎︎︎ Contemporary Art Library
︎︎︎ Art Viewer

The thesis of Graham Wiebe’s practice lies in the “activation” or “charging” of objects. His research examines contemporary self-help, holistic practices, and wellness cultures. In Wiebe’s exhibition at Final Hot Desert, the artist produces binaural beats made up of the voices of members of the Mormon church and projects them through the form of Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels, intersecting at the center of their composition.

The phonon, a quasiparticle, is a basic excitation in the quantum mechanical treatment of vibrations in a crystal lattice. Phonons can be thought of as quantized sound waves that act like a particle, but don’t exist at all in a vacuum like an electron, proton, or neutron.

Large veins of various pink and white crystal, abandoned mines, and the sparkling salt dust that creeps its way through the air and into the lining of fine desert powder are paramount features of the lattice of the sprawling, low, brown, sharp mountains that characterize the tetris of arid valleys in Utah’s northwestern desert.

In Wiebe’s sound installation the voices of LDS (Mormon) church members strain to match and maintain tones selected by Wiebe that are subsequently superimposed to create binaural beats. The tones function with the Sun Tunnels when projected through high-end speakers positioned at the mouth of each tunnel so that each tone is threaded through its concrete tube and intersects at the centerpoint axis of the summer and winter solstices.

The consistent rhythm of structure of the landscape, its sound, and their resolved friction with time brings to mind super deep brown noise, the title of one of many colored noises conjured to complementarily flower the space around white noise for the late night anxiety-ridden millennial or YouTube stoner: Super Deep Pink Noise (6 Hours), Panning Low-Frequency Brown Noise with Black Screen, Super Deep Red and Blue Noise (12 Hours), Sleep Sound Noise Generator | Fall Asleep with Green Noise (White Noise Variation) 10 Hours… These titles function in a similar niche viewership with the (in)famous binaural beats: Deep Healing Music for The Body & Soul - DNA Repair, Relaxation Music, Meditation Music, Flowing Divine Abundance • Golden Angel Music, Regenerative Spiritual Reset ✧ 111Hz, 222Hz, 444Hz, 888Hz ✧ Deep Healing Meditation Music Therapy. Binaural beats utilize two different frequencies that intersect at the point of the listener who experiences the space between the two emitted frequencies referred to as the “theta zone”, the only vacuum of space and content between the complex surface geometries of the inner ears, blood vessels, thick skull, and constantly shifting brain architecture where phonons can exist.

Under the high desert sky where you can nearly see the curvature of the earth, Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels tether the photon quasiparticles of over 18,000 sunsets and the phonons in the concrete mineral lattice existing in the echoes of almost 50 years of lonely desert wind gusts and distant railroad horns and clatters. Occasionally, silhouettes of a walking form or whispers and yelps bounce across their apertures. These lights and sounds enter from one hole and exit through another, tracing thready paths through the twenty-two ton tunnels and back out of the valley.
Sound Design: FITNESSS
Drone Pilots: Hudson Kendall & FITNESSS
Technical Support: 011668, Adam.O, Marina Moro, Sarah Sitkin