VOLUME is pleased to host the premiere of Yann Novak’s video cycle for his new album Lifeblood of Light and Rapture. The cycle consists of video works for the entire album, some of which will only be available during the premiere. We invite you to join us to watch along and chat with the artist. The premiere will start at noon, runs just over 35 min, and will only be available for 24 hours after the premiere.
About the Album
On Lifeblood Of Light And Rapture, Los Angeles artist Yann Novak contours a phosphorescent listening experience that shimmers with a hazy glow; like neon in fog. Each piece bares his trademarked sense of patience and unerring harmony, but more so than any previous editions Novak opens up the presence of these elements to create a more absorbing sensibility. A Biochemical Cascade captures the experience in a snapshot, as gentle eruptions of harmony fold and melt over the top of one another, each eruption seemingly more luminous than the wave before it. The result is a wholly consuming sense of tidal ecstasy.
Notes on Lifeblood of Light and Rapture from Yann Novak…
When I began working on Lifeblood of Light and Rapture I was thinking a lot about both my personal and society’s tendencies towards nihilism. When I was in grade school, I was taught that 2020 would be the turning point in our collective fight against climate change—that if we did not change by then, there would be no turning back. After learning this at a young age, I watched helplessly as little was done to save the planet. It made me certain that I would not live to see past 2020. It was this moment in my childhood, along with so many other experiences in the 80s and 90s, that led me to a hedonistic coming of age. I pursued anything that would transport me away from the darkness in the world and its inevitable doom.
Now that 2020 has come and gone, I have the luxury of hindsight. I can look back and see that so many of my decisions were made not to destroy myself, but in order to self-medicate. In my teens and twenties, the world was a difficult place to inhabit, but I could use chemicals and other distractions to cope. Similarly, as it turns out, this is also the story of the industrial, technological, and digital revolutions. Even though the intention of these eras was to make the world an easier place to live in, most of the progress attributed to them over the last two centuries has directly contributed to the climate crisis. On Lifeblood of Light and Rapture, I wanted to explore this parallel—that so many of the things we do to try and make this world livable also contribute to its destruction.
Formally, this album follows the path I set out on with Slowly Dismantling. I sought to express myself in a more immediate and honest way through the use of digital and analog synthesis. With Lifeblood of Light and Rapture, I built upon this same path; but I also tried to imagine the listening experience over the process of making it, focusing solely on the pure pleasure of listening. I hope this record breaks that cycle, that it can achieve its intended purpose of bringing light into the world without causing any damage.
About the Artist
Yann Novak is a queer interdisciplinary artist and composer based in Los Angeles. His work is guided by his interests in perception, context, movement, and the felt presence of direct experience. Through the use of sound and light, Novak explores how these intangible materials can act as catalysts to focus our awareness on our present location in space and time. Novak’s diverse body of works—audiovisual installations, performances, architectural interventions, sound diffusions, recording, and prints—ask participants to reclaim the present moment as a political act. His work has been experienced through exhibitions and performance at AB Salon, Brussels; Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, California; The Broad, Los Angeles; Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles; Danspace, New York; de Young Museum, San Francisco; Dimensions Variable, Miami; Fylkingen, Stockholm; The Getty Villa, Pacific Palisades, California; The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Human Resources, Los Angeles; Iklectik, London; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Mutek Festival, Montreal; PICA, Portland; Soundfjord, London; and The Stone, New York, among others. His recorded sound works have been released by 901 Editions, Dragon’s Eye Recordings, LINE, Room40, and Touch, among others. Novak is a recipient of a 2019 California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists. He has participated in numerous artists residencies including EMS Elektronmusikstudion, Stockholm; Jental Artist Residency, Sharidan, Wyoming; Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio, Melbourne; Mountain School of Arts, Los Angeles; Taliesin Artist Residency, Spring Green, Wisconsin; and the Touch Mentorship Programme, London, among others. Novak’s work has been the subject of articles and reviews in publications including C Magazine, Drain Magazine, Inside Art, LA Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Neural Magazine, Signal to Noise, The Stranger, and The Wire, among others.