Britni Bicknaver
Personal Artwork Sample

*For Accuracy Please Use Headphones When Possible

Cinema of Memory

Cinema of Memory illuminates an archival photo album by simulating the cognitive interplay when one is confronted with familial photos of decades past—images distant through time, yet not distant through relation. 

 

Images sourced from Bicknaver’s family photo albums are brought to life by pairing them with custom cinematic soundtracks. This creates subtle fictions that reflect ones we all unintentionally fabricate in an effort to make sense of a familial past—a past we are inherently part of, but not always present for. 

 

Rather than choosing ubiquitous portraits, images that are saved, yet rarely unearthed, are used. They show unidentifiable figures in sometimes common experiences—high school sporting events, restaurants, etc.—invoking a relatable, nostalgic familiarity in the viewer.

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Cinema Of Memory (Installation View), Audio, Custom Made Light Box, Head Phones, Found Photograph, 19"x15"x5", 2019

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Cinema Of Memory: Lake, Audio, Custom Made Light Box, Head Phones, Found Photograph, 19"x15"x5", 2019

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Cinema Of Memory: Volleyball, Audio, Custom Made Light Box, Head Phones, Found Photograph, 19"x15"x5", 2019

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Cinema Of Memory (Installation View), Audio, Custom Made Light Box, Head Phones, Found Photograph, 19"x15"x5", 2019

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00:00 / 05:09

Cinema Of Memory: Lake (Detail), Audio, Custom Made Light Box, Head Phones, Found Photograph, 19"x15"x5", 2019

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Cinema Of Memory: Volleyball (Detail), Audio, Custom Made Light Box, Head Phones, Found Photograph, 19"x15"x5", 2019

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Cinema Of Memory: Beach (Detail), Audio, Custom Made Light Box, Head Phones, Found Photograph, 19"x15"x5", 2019

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Cinema Of Memory: Birthday (Detail), Audio, Custom Made Light Box, Head Phones, Found Photograph, 19"x15"x5", 2019

Soundtracks for Gaul

Soundtracks for Gaul focus on three Roman artifacts from the Musée Saint-Remi in Reims, France. A tomb of a general, a head of Mercury from the facade of a temple and an Obelisk dedicated to the god Jupiter are all brought to life through custom made soundtracks. In Soundtrack for Tombeau De Jovin we hear a narrative of the life of Flavius Jovinus, a prosperous Roman general credited with many successful military campaings. In Soundtrack for Tête De Mercure we are confronted with the Roman god Mercury who is animated with breath as we look into his 1,700 year old eyes. And lastly, Soundtrack for la colonne de Jupiter recalls its former position marking a natural spring and the changing of seasons to reference the god unto which it is dedicated. The context has changed for these objects—once revered for their sacred power now revered for surviving time. The soundtracks attempt to activate the imagination of the museum’s visitors as they look at evidence of their city's former life.  

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Soundtrack for Tête De Mercure, Appropriated and Native Sound, 1 min. 40 sec., 2021

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Soundtrack for Tête De Mercure (Installation View), Appropriated and Native Sound, 1 min. 40 sec., 2021

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Soundtrack for Tête De Mercure (Installation View), Appropriated and Native Sound, 1 min. 40 sec., 2021

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Soundtrack for Tête De Mercure (Installation View), Appropriated and Native Sound, 1 min. 40 sec., 2021

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Soundtrack for Tombeau De Jovin, Appropriated and Native Audio, 1 min. 31 sec., 2021

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Soundtrack for Tombeau De Jovin (Detail), Appropriated and Native Audio, 1 min. 31 sec., 2021

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Soundtrack for Tombeau De Jovin (Detail), Appropriated and Native Audio, 1 min. 31 sec., 2021

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Soundtrack for Tombeau De Jovin (Installation View), Appropriated and Native Audio, 1 min. 31 sec., 2021

12 Phrases

12 Phrases, a musical composition comprised of twelve independent sections, combines two forms encompassed by naturally occurring patterns: the chromatic musical circle and the physical form of plants. By overlapping these visual elements, leaves, sticks, and flowers can suggest specific sonic frequencies within the Western scale, allowing each specimen to express its own musical composition. Though plants make vibrations out of range of the human ear, 12 Phrases envisions these produced sounds through meditative transitions, reflecting the slow movement of growth. Also recognizing that plants can sense vibrations, all specimens have been extracted within range of the gallery, allowing the compositions to be played back to the creatures from which they came.

 
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12 Phrases, Audio Instillation (accompanying information card detail), 22 min. 2 sec., 2020

00:00 / 05:01

12 Phrases, Audio Instillation (audio excerpt), 22 min. 2 sec., 2020

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12 Phrases, Audio Instillation (instillation view at WavePool Gallery, Cincinnati, OH), 22 min. 2 sec., 2020

Universe

Universe makes use of marginalia in the unlikely context of an audio book, The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking (2001), by sonically recording the actions of the artist as she listens to the source text. Just as a borrowed book from the library has evidence of its previous readers, this audible example of marginalia magnifies the experience, as we hear the intimate actions of Bicknaver engaging with the text before us.

Playing upon the title and content of the source text, Universe juxtaposes the sublime universe of Stephen Hawking to the mundane everyday “universe” of the artist. Bicknaver’s coughs, quips, and sighs intermingle with the diegetic sounds of the artist’s apartment in contrast with Hawking’s explanation of our stunningly amazing universe, reinforcing the banal divergence of the human experience with the unfathomable existence of everything. A subtle play for power is evoked between “the read” and “reader” as we hear the artist engage with the universe depicted in the book, and disengage into her own mundane everyday universe, forcing the text into the margins of quotidian life.

Bicknaver, Britni - Universe, 2018-19, The Universe in a Nutshell audiobook, native sound

Universe (Installation View), The Universe In A Nutshell Audio Book, Native Audio, Pedestal, Vinyl Print, Media Player, Headphones, 3 hr. 37min. 16 sec., 2019

Universe (Vinyl Print), The Universe In A Nutshell Audio Book, Native Audio, Pedestal, Vinyl Print, Media Player, Headphones, 3hr. 37min. 16 sec., 2019

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Universe (Audio Excerpt), The Universe In A Nutshell Audio Book, Native Audio, Pedestal, Vinyl Print, Media Player, Headphones, 3hr. 37min. 16 sec., 2019

Corners

Corners an ambient sound piece, presents multiple aural environments that fill and fade in the openness of the gallery's atrium space. Intended to interact with the margins of consciousness, Corners strives to sonically blend into the natural environment of the gallery by producing artificial soundscapes that go unnoticed and unquestioned, before fading into soundscapes that contrast with the natural environment of the gallery, pulling the attention of the audience to the existence of the piece and its artificiality through a discord of the senses. Ultimately, Corners functions within the margins of the exhibition itself, filling the edges of space with sonic reverberations that deftly reference the works of visionary composers like Brian Eno (Ambient 1: Music for Airports, 1978) and Erik Satie (“Furniture Music,” 1917).

Corners, Appropriated Audio Samples and Speakers, Duration: 1 hr., 2019

A Raising

A Raising is an 11-channel audio installation juxtaposing the idiosyncratic lives and work of Mark DeJong and Chris Larson whose work was paired alongside one another at the Contemporary Arts Center of Cincinnati in the spring of 2018. By employing the architecture of their personal pasts, A Raising seeks to magnify the unique moments connecting their lives. From Larson’s Minnesotan ancestors building their prairie homestead to DeJong’s Dutch family immigrating to Cincinnati, A Raising spans over 160 years. Historical scenes are collected and complied and layered atop of one another, condensing time into one singular moment.

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A Raising (Installation Map Front), Mixed Media Installation including Audio, Speakers, Vinyl, Printed Map, Dimensions Variable, Duration: 10 Minute loop, 2018

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A Raising (Installation Map Back), Mixed Media Installation including Audio, Speakers, Vinyl, Printed Map, Dimensions Variable, Duration: 10 Minute loop, 2018

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A Raising, Installation View

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A Raising, Installation View

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A Raising, Installation View

1. Minnesota, 1854

 

Chris Larson’s 4th great-grandparents have just immigrated from Sweden and are arriving on the Minnesota frontier where they begin to build their homestead.

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2. August 21, 1970

 

Mark de Jong’s family are spending their first day in their new home in Cincinnati. They have arrived from The Netherlands in time for Mark’s father to start his new position as a geology Professor.

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3. 7th Street Entry, 1981

 

Chris is at 7th Street Entry, a rock venue in 

Minneapolis, for the first time. He watches punk band Hüsker Dü perform and witnesses the drummer, Grant Hart, who will later become a friend and recurring participant in Chris’ work.

00:00 / 03:08

Audio Tour

Audio Tour disguises itself as a conventional museum audio tour for Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center. Visitors receive a media player, headphones, and an information card. But unlike a standard audio tour, Audio Tour ignores the exhibits on display. Instead, it addresses philosophical, historical, and universal ideas and information, framing the CAC in alternative ways.

 

By juxtaposing the story of the land on which the museum sits with its present-day appearance—its modern facilities, idiosyncrasies, employees, and other inner workings—the piece strives to aurally frame the museum in its specific time and place. Audio Tour seeks to synthesize the past, present, and future of the CAC.

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Audio Tour (charging station), Audio, Media Players, Charging Station, and Pamphlet, Duration: 18 min. 25 sec., 2017

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Audio Tour (museum sign), Audio, Media Players, Charging Station, and Pamphlet, Duration: 18 min. 25 sec., 2017

Audio Tour (Promotional Video), Video, 1 min. 37 sec., 2017

Audio Tour: Introduction (Video Supplement for Audio Piece), Audio, Media Players, Charging Station, and Pamphlet, 2 min. 39 sec., 2017

Audio Tour: Drinking Fountain (Video Supplement for Audio Piece), Audio, Media Players, Charging Station, and Pamphlet, 2 min. 1 sec., 2017

Audio Tour: Meditation on the Name Zaha, (Video Supplement for Audio Piece), Audio, Media Players, Charging Station, and Pamphlet, 3 min. 1 sec., 2017

Drawing and Sculpture Examples

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Museum Border, Graphite on Paper

51” X 41”, 2014

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Museum Border (Detail), Graphite on Paper

51” X 41”, 2014

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Museum Border (Detail), Graphite on Paper

51” X 41”, 2014

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Frame, Graphite on Cut Paper

24” X 33” 2014

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Frame, Graphite on Cut Paper

24” X 33” 2014

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Frame, Graphite on Cut Paper

24” X 33” 2014

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All The Gallery Wall Colors At The Cincinnati Art Museum, Acrylic paint on wall, 65” X 3.5”, 2014

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All The Gallery Wall Colors At The Cincinnati Art Museum, Acrylic paint on wall, 65” X 3.5”, 2014

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All The Gallery Wall Colors At The Cincinnati Art Museum, Acrylic paint on wall, 65” X 3.5”, 2014

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Old World (Stonehenge), Floral Foam, Acrylic Paint, Pastel, Clamp Lamps

66" x 27" x 6.5”, 2013

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Old World (Stonehenge), Floral Foam, Acrylic Paint, Pastel, Clamp Lamps

66" x 27" x 6.5”, 2013