Our storyDrive In of Sound Art
Galleri Ruth started out in 2012 as a tiny contemporary artist run indoor gallery at Solberg farm (Sunny Hill). Sunny Hill is situated at the border of the two rural councils Råde and Rygge in the south eastern part of Norway. About 2500-3000 cars were during the summer months passing the gallery and seemed therefore as a very potent audience. We inviting excellent artists for the prime show and served wind-powered waffles in front of the gallery. When the drivers saw the windmill and the gallery they certainly did slow down, but very few managed to actually stop and get out of the car to enjoy the art show.
In 2013 Galleri Ruth was transformed into a Drive In of Sound Art Gallery. This was an attempt to meet the possible needs and interests of the car drivers. By making the gallery more accessible it was constructed and placed as a Drive In along the road. The location was carefully chosen in a remote site relating to the landscape and local community. To listen the driver would place the car along the the Drive In "box", open the window and enjoy contemporary sound art.
After tree years in Råde/Rygge, Galleri Ruth began to explore new sights in urban Fredrikstad and rural sites in the county. In 2016 the project started the Nordic tour and in 2018 the northern tour in Norway begins all together tree different Drive Ins exhibiting.
The overall idea behind Drive In of Sound Art
The overall goal is to promote contemporary sound art by professional artists and make it accessible to anyone passing by. The gallery can be completely off grid using solar and wind power only, and this enables the gallery to explore the ditches and highways, sites and landscapes, where ever it seems of interest.
The sustainable approach is depending on the weather, and a summer with minimal sun will require an additional wind turbine to gain the electricity needed to run a little speakersystem, an iPod, a converter and regulator. The electricity therefore needs to be balanced in terms of delivering best possible sound quality with minimal electrical consumption. Sometimes the gallery does run out of power because of a longer period with minimal wind and/or lack of sun, which is of cause unfortunate but a condition we simply have to accept. By use of both solar and wind power, the Drive Ins have become quite reliable and work just as well in the far north as in the south of the Nordic countries.
The gallery collaborates with the local community, which is important to have the gallery succeed. At sites, where I for various reasons cannot carry out needed research, collaboration with institutions such as art centers etc. becomes very important. This again adds an interesting dimension to the project, since they might have ideas and wishes. In Vadsø the Drive In of Sound Art was located at an abandon but very attractive urban site by the harbour in an attempt to "energize" and turn the focus towards the potentials of this particular urban site.
Sustainability in the mundane
The Drive In of Sound Art is aware of the paradoxes of daily life and our use of energi, handling of waste and general overspending. The Drive In of Sound Art uses wind- and sun-power and on the other hand invite car-drivers to the galleri! Lately the wind industri is taking over big areas of the country with huge impact on humans, animals and landscapes. The wind turbine used in the Drive In is like the one used at private boats. In the Drive In the wind turbine is fixed on a 2.5-3 meter tall mast. One can clearly hear, when it spinns and when standing on the metal foundation the mast is attached to, the rotating blades creates vibrations that shake your body. Adding this up to a 200 meter tall wind turbine, it is beyond imagination what impact it will have, and how it can violate not only by sight and hearing but also raise questions about what low frequencies will cause of problems not only to humans but to animals and nature? This is evidently just one issue, but the Drive In of Sound Art is aware, in its small daily scale, of the complexed structures and challenging situation we are facing.
NRK link: https://www.nrk.no/video/PS*111922
Logo designed by: Irwan Ahmet and Tita Salina